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Tempisque Basin, Costa Rica ,

This fall, a group of Water Institute affiliate faculty, with Rafa Muñoz-Carpena as PI, were awarded a National Science Foundation planning grant to assess water sustainability in the Tempisque Basin, in NW Costa Rica. The site, in the dry Guanacaste western area of Costa Rica, contains a wetland of international importance and is stressed by both increasing water use and degrading water quality. The goals are to conduct in-depth quantitative analysis of the sustainability of water supply and demand, explore model-based scenarios of climate impacts on ecosystems services through changing biodiversity and land use, and investigate potential to maintain and improve water availability, water quality and ecosystem services. Project personnel from Environmental Engineering, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Food and Resource Economics, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Geography, Levin College of Law and Anthropology at UF are working with researchers at Duke University/Organization for Tropical Studies, Arizona State University, the University of South Florida, Columbia University in New York as well as multiple universities and Institutions in Costa Rica. During this one-year project, Kathleen McKee will assist working groups to define common research goals, agree on mechanisms for coordination and to write a full proposal to the National Science Foundation next Fall. Two workshops will be held during the year, in Gainesville (December 2) and in Palo Verde National Park (April 2012).