Christopher Scott

Christopher Scott's picture
Professor, Geography & Development, and Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy; Distinguished Scholar, University of Arizona 1885 Society


(520) 621-1652


Harvill #410 or Udall Center

Themes: resilience, adaptation, water-energy-food security nexus, groundwater, reuse. Focus: India, Nepal, Mex., Latin Am., Ariz. Recruiting multi-lingual, hybrid phys.-human students.

$: NSF, IAI Inter-Amer Inst, NOAA, Interior, foundations... CV [pdf]: 20+ yrs in India, Mexico w NGOs


PhD, Cornell University, 1998

MS, Cornell University, 1991

BA and BS, Swarthmore College, 1985

Research Interests: 

Research focused on:

  • Resilience, adaptation, social-ecological systems
  • Water-energy nexus, infrastructure, policy
  • Groundwater, irrigation
  • Urban-wastewater irrigation, water reuse, agricultural-urban water transfers
  • Transboundary river basins and aquifers

Ongoing research and stakeholder engagement, in and outside the academy, led to invitations to be Univ. Arizona affiliate faculty in:

  • Arid Lands Resource Sciences (I can chair student committees)
  • Hydrology & Water Resources (can chair)

And the following, where I can co-chair student committees:

  • School of Natural Resources & Environment
  • Soil, Water & Environmental Science
  • Latin American Studies


Selected Publications: 

Scott, C.A., B. de Gouvello (eds.). 2014. The Future of Public Water Governance: Has Water Privatization Peaked? Routledge, London.

Scott, C.A. 2013. Electricity for groundwater use: constraints and opportunities for adaptive response to climate change. Environmental Research Letters 8 (2013) 035005, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035005.

Scott, C.A., F.J. Meza, R.G. Varady, H. Tiessen, J. McEvoy, G.M. Garfin, M. Wilder, L.M. Farfán, N. Pineda Pablos, E. Montaña. 2013. Water security and adaptive management in the arid Americas. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103(2): 280-289.

Scott, C.A., S.J. Buechler. 2013. Iterative driver-response dynamics of human-environment interactions in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. Ecosphere 4(1): 1-16.

Kumar, M.D., C.A. Scott, O.P. Singh. 2013. Can India raise agricultural productivity while reducing groundwater and energy use? International Journal of Water Resources Development,  doi:10.1080/07900627.2012.743957.

Prichard, A.H., C.A. Scott. 2013. Interbasin water transfers at the U.S.-Mexico border city of Nogales, Sonora: Implications for aquifers and water security. International Journal of Water Resources Development.

Vieira, R., C. Tucci, C.A. Scott (eds.). 2013 in press. Water and Climate Modeling in Large Basins, Vol. 2. Associação Brasileira de Recursos Hídricos, Brazil. Co-author of chapter in this volume:

  • Sharma, B., U.A. Amarasinghe, X. Cai, C.A. Scott. Water resources, water productivity, and poverty in the Indus-Ganges river basin.

Scott, C.A., J.P. Venot, F. Molle. 2013. Water, land, and development: Comparative Arizona -Israeli - Palestinian perspective. In S.B. Megdal, R.G. Varady, and S. Eden (eds.) Shared Borders, Shared Waters:  Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, in cooperation with UNESCO-IHE, Delft, pp. 133-149.

Scott, C.A., C.J. Bailey, R.P. Marra, G.J. Woods, K.J. Ormerod, K. Lansey. 2012. Scenario planning to address critical uncertainties for robust and resilient water-wastewater infrastructures under conditions of water scarcity and rapid development. Water 4: 848-868; doi:10.3390/w4040848.

Varady, R.G., C.A. Scott, M. Wilder, B. Morehouse, N. Pineda, G.M. Garfin. 2012. Transboundary adaptive management to reduce climate-change vulnerability in the western U.S.-Mexico border region. Environmental Science & Policy. doi 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.07.006.

Scott, C.A., R.G. Varady, F. Meza, E. Montaña, G.B. de Raga, B. Luckman, C. Martius. 2012. Science-policy dialogues for water security: addressing vulnerability and adaptation to global change in the arid Americas. Environment 54(3): 30-42.

Scott, C.A., P.F. Robbins, A.C. Comrie. 2012. The mutual conditioning of humans and pathogens: Implications for integrative geographical scholarship. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(5): 977-985.

Ormerod, K.J., C.A. Scott. 2012. Drinking wastewater: public trust in potable reuse. Science, Technology, and Human Values. doi: 10.1177/0162243912444736.

Halper, E., C.A. Scott, S. Yool. 2012. Correlating vegetation, water use and surface temperature in a semi-arid city: A multi-scale analysis of the impacts of irrigation by single-family residences. Geographical Analysis 44(3): 235-257, doi: 10.1111/j.1538-4632.2012.00846.x.

Scott, C.A., S. Megdal, L.A. Oroz, J. Callegary, P. Vandervoet. 2012. Effects of climate change and population growth on the transboundary Santa Cruz aquifer. Climate Research 51: 159–170, doi: 10.3354/cr01061.

de Gouvello, B., C.A. Scott. 2012 (guest editors of special issue and authors of introductory article with the same title) “Has Water Privatization Peaked? The Future of Public Water Governance.” Water International 37(2): 87-90, doi: 10.1080/02508060.2012.663614

Scott, C.A., L. Raschid-Sally. 2012. The global commodification of wastewater. In special issue “Has Water Privatization Peaked? The Future of Public Water Governance.” Water International 37(2): 147–155, doi: 10.1080/02508060.2012.662727

Scott, C.A. 2012. Case Study: Effluent Auction in Prescott Valley, Arizona. 2012 Guidelines for Water Reuse, EPA/600/R-12/618, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington DC, pp. D18-D19.

Scott, C.A. 2011. The water-energy-climate nexus: resources and policy outlook for aquifers in Mexico. Water Resources Research 47, W00L04, doi:10.1029/2011WR010805.

Scott, C.A., S.A. Pierce, M.J. Pasqualetti, A.L. Jones, B.E. Montz, J.H. Hoover. 2011. Policy and institutional dimensions of the water-energy nexus. Energy Policy 39: 6622–6630, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2011.08.013.

Scott, C.A., N. Pineda Pablos. 2011. Innovating resource regimes: water, wastewater, and the institutional dynamics of urban hydraulic reach in northwest Mexico. Geoforum 42(4): 439-450, doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.02.003.

Kumar, M.D., C.A. Scott, O.P. Singh. 2011. Inducing the shift from flat-rate or free agricultural power to metered supply: Implications for groundwater depletion and power sector viability in India. Journal of Hydrology 409: 382-394, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.08.033.

Megdal, S.B., C.A. Scott. 2011. The importance of institutional asymmetries to the development of binational aquifer assessment programs: Arizona-Sonora experience. Water 3: 949-963.

Drechsel, P., C.A. Scott, L. Raschid, M. Redwood, A. Bahri (dir.). 2011. L’Irrigation Avec des Eaux Usées et la Santé. Presses de l’Université du Québec, Québec, 440 p. This is the French translation of the following book:

Drechsel, P., C.A. Scott, L. Raschid, M. Redwood, A. Bahri (eds.). 2010. Wastewater Irrigation and Health: Assessing and Mitigating Risks in Low-Income Countries. Earthscan, London, 404 p.

Scott, C.A., S. Dall’erba, R. Díaz-Caravantes. 2010. Groundwater rights in Mexican agriculture: spatial distribution and demographic determinants. Professional Geographer 62(1): 1-15.

Scott, C.A., M.J. Pasqualetti. 2010. Energy and water resources scarcity: Critical infrastructure for growth and economic development in Arizona and Sonora. Natural Resources Journal 50(3): 645-682.

Sharma, B.R., J.S. Samra, C.A. Scott, S.P. Wani (eds.) 2005. Watershed Management Challenges: Improving Productivity, Resources, and Livelihoods.  International Water Management Institute, New Delhi, 336 p.

Scott, C.A., N.I. Faruqui, L. Raschid-Sally (eds.) 2004. Wastewater Use in Irrigated Agriculture: Confronting the Livelihood and Environmental Realities. CAB International, Wallingford, 193 p.

Courses Taught: 

Water-Energy Nexus (Water Management & Policy), GEOG 596J [Syllabus]

Adaptation & Resilience in Water Resource Systems, GEOG 696O [Syllabus]

Water, Environment, and Society, GEOG 304 [Syllabus]

Adaptive Water Management in Agriculture (Water Resources Geography), GEOG 696J [Syllabus]

Water Resource Assessment, GEOG 467 [Syllabus]



Areas of Study: 

Rgions of interest:

  • Arid Americas
  • Andes
  • Himalayas
  • Indo-Gangetic Plain
  • Southwest U.S.