Event Title

The Effects of Technology on Human-Water Interactions in the Bear River Basin

Presenter Information

Lisa Welsh

Location

ECC 303/305

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-4-2012 2:50 PM

End Date

4-4-2012 3:10 PM

Description

Efficiency is commonly seen as a solution to resource scarcity. Increasingly, technology is considered the best way to increase the efficiency of resource use. Relying on literature about the human-technology interface and using key-informant interviews and document analysis, this research focuses on human behavioral responses to new water technologies that are aimed at increasing efficiency of water delivery and use. Human water use in the Bear River Basin, a watershed located at the juncture of Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho, is primarily agricultural with water delivered to irrigation canals and diversions along the Bear River. In the Basin, people have been performing much technical work in metering and monitoring water use in recent years. Streamflow accounting models collect real-time data from various gauging stations that are presented on the internet for all users to examine. This technology has led to refined water management, where water managers can more readily make adjustments in water diversions to react to changing conditions. The instrumentation has allowed water managers to regulate water allocations more closely, particularly important in times of drought. Some individual water users have used the real-time data to make more precise plans on how to use their water allocation throughout the irrigation season. The use of information technology in the Basin has shaped human-water interactions by allowing managers and water users to balance water conservation with their water use needs. However, managers and water users of the Bear River Basin do not use the real-time data in a vacuum. Through the creation of the law of the Bear River with compacts and other settlement agreements, water users understand that their water use is interdependent. The real-time data has helped water users develop a continuous dialogue so that they can aim to meet their water needs in ways that are both efficient and equitable.

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Apr 4th, 2:50 PM Apr 4th, 3:10 PM

The Effects of Technology on Human-Water Interactions in the Bear River Basin

ECC 303/305

Efficiency is commonly seen as a solution to resource scarcity. Increasingly, technology is considered the best way to increase the efficiency of resource use. Relying on literature about the human-technology interface and using key-informant interviews and document analysis, this research focuses on human behavioral responses to new water technologies that are aimed at increasing efficiency of water delivery and use. Human water use in the Bear River Basin, a watershed located at the juncture of Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho, is primarily agricultural with water delivered to irrigation canals and diversions along the Bear River. In the Basin, people have been performing much technical work in metering and monitoring water use in recent years. Streamflow accounting models collect real-time data from various gauging stations that are presented on the internet for all users to examine. This technology has led to refined water management, where water managers can more readily make adjustments in water diversions to react to changing conditions. The instrumentation has allowed water managers to regulate water allocations more closely, particularly important in times of drought. Some individual water users have used the real-time data to make more precise plans on how to use their water allocation throughout the irrigation season. The use of information technology in the Basin has shaped human-water interactions by allowing managers and water users to balance water conservation with their water use needs. However, managers and water users of the Bear River Basin do not use the real-time data in a vacuum. Through the creation of the law of the Bear River with compacts and other settlement agreements, water users understand that their water use is interdependent. The real-time data has helped water users develop a continuous dialogue so that they can aim to meet their water needs in ways that are both efficient and equitable.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/AllAbstracts/49