Give Your Local Riparian Zone Some Love

Tributary of Lake Erie
Tributary of Lake ErieCourtesy U.S. Federal Government

Among the water management savvy and those concerned with the state our water resources the riparian zone refers to an area where land meets a flowing body of water, like a river bank.

The SAHRA or the Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas is a research institute that works with such areas, especially in drier climates, like the southwestern United States where SAHRA is based out of. Scientists at SAHRA conduct research primarily in river basins, and their research is "stakeholder-relevant". This means that there are public and private agencies who are taking an interest in this research. These agencies help SAHRA inform communities and policy makers of the critical knowledge required to understand water management and the fragile state many of these riparian zones are in.

Research on water and riparian zones at SAHRA, the study of which is generally known as hydrology has helped shed light on the pressure caused by population growth and climate change and what it is doing to these fragile ecological zones. The main dangers of compromised riparian zones is drought or flood. SAHRA hopes that their research and their efforts will bring about legislative changes that will protect and sustain our water resources.

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