CIRES’ Western Water Assessment (WWA) recognized in government award

October 2012: Joe Barsugli, a CIRES research scientist who works at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent WWA and accept a Department of the Interior's Partners in Conservation Award for the efforts of WWA and many other organizations in carrying out the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, led by the Bureau of Reclamation.  The Study was nominated as “a model of collaboration for future watershed planning across the country. The seven Colorado River Basin States, the Bureau of Reclamation, and water users worked together to establish a common factual and technical foundation for resolving future water supply and demand imbalances.”

The inclusion of WWA in this award mainly reflects the work of Barsugli, previous WWA research assistant Justin Briggs and previous NOAA PACE postdoc Imtiaz Rangwala.  The team examined the projections of future climate and hydrology Reclamation had developed and provided guidance on their use in the Basin Study. Their work built on many years of WWA collaboration with Reclamation on Colorado River Basin hydroclimate studies. The resources of NOAA were also fundamental to this work; the NOAA ESRL Physical Science Division hosts Western Western Water Assessment and several of its researchers, and the NOAA Climate Program Office is the primary funder of WWA.

The annual awards are "an opportunity for the Interior Department to recognize conservation achievements that include collaborative activity among a diverse range of entities, including federal, state, local and tribal governments, and individuals."  For more information about the awards and this year’s recipients click here.