New Arizona State center brings science to policy on issues of water resources and urban growth

TEMPE, Ariz. A new $6.9-million center at Arizona State University will study the decision processes used to plan and manage water resources and desert city growth. The center, called the Decision Center for a Desert City, could have a profound effect on the future directions of urban growth in arid regions by providing a sound scientific basis to the decisions that balance growth with finite water resources.

The Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) is one of three new National Science Foundation-funded centers that will investigate human decision-making under climatic uncertainty. The impact of the NSF centers could be felt for years to come as populations move to areas that struggle to achieve sustainability.

"DCDC is a model of our commitment to research with a purpose, which in this case is ensuring a sustainable future for our desert regions," said Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow. "ASU's expertise in climate science, water usage, science and technology policy, and our studies on the effects of urban growth all come into play as we focus on this increasingly important issue of sustainability in arid regions. We know that growth in areas such as ours is exacerbating the impact of existing drought conditions, making decisions on growth and sustainability critically important to this region and others like it."

Crow is one of the investigators on the DCDC project.

The National Science Foundation is funding three Decision Making Under Uncertainty Centers and two research teams (without centers) in the program. The centers and research teams will produce new knowledge, information and tools related to decision making under uncertainty associated with short-term climate variability and long-term climate change. The program is part of President Bush's Climate Change Research Initiative.

"DCDC's focus on water resources is unique among the research teams supported by NSF's Decision Making Unde

Contact: Skip Derra
Arizona State University

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