Christopher Scott

About Christopher Scott

Themes: resilience, adaptation, water-energy-food security nexus, governance, rivers, irrigation, groundwater, reuse, hydropower. Focus: India, Nepal, Mex., Latin Am., Ariz.; multi-lingual. Are you a hybrid phys.-human student?
$: NSF, IAI Inter-Amer Inst, NOAA, Interior, CONACyT-Mex, Lloyd's, foundations... CV [pdf]: 20+ yrs in India, Mexico with NGOs.

Areas of Study

Regions of interest:

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


Research Interests

Research focused on:

  • Resilience, adaptation, social-ecological systems
  • Water-energy-food nexus, infrastructure, policy, governance
  • Water security, river basins, aquifers, transboundary
  • Groundwater, irrigation
  • Urban-wastewater irrigation, water reuse, agricultural-urban water transfers
  • Hydropower, renewable energy

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

  • Arid Lands Resource Sciences (can chair student committees)
  • Hydrology & Water Resources (can chair)
  • Water, Society & Policy, Masters (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

See Google Scholar

Scott, C.A., A. Crootof, B. Thapa, R.K. Shrestha. 2016 in press. The water-energy-food nexus in the Ganges Basin: Challenges and opportunities. In L. Bharati, V. Smakhtin, B.R. Sharma (eds.) Water Management in the Ganges Basin, Earthscan, London.

Scott, C.A., A. Lutz Ley. 2016 in press. Enhancing water governance for climate resilience: Arizona, USA - Sonora, Mexico comparative assessment of the role of reservoirs in adaptive management for water security. In C. Tortajada (ed.) Increasing Resilience to Climate Variability and Change: The Role of Infrastructure and Governance in the Context of Adaptation, Springer, Berlin.

Misra, G., H. Misra, C.A. Scott. 2016 in press. Understanding factors influencing hydro-climatic risk and human vulnerability: Application of systems thinking in the Himalayan region. Ch. 14 in R.B. Singh, U. Schickhoff, S. Mal (eds.) Climate Change and Dynamics of Glaciers and Vegetation in the Himalaya, Springer, Berlin.

Scott, C.A., Z.P. Sugg. 2016. Global energy development and climate-induced water scarcity – Physical limits, sectoral constraints, and policy imperatives. In V. Dovì, A. Battaglini (eds.) Energy Policy and Climate Change, MDPI Books, Basel pp. 453-468 [reprinted from Energies 2015 8(8): 8211-8225].

Scott, C.A., A. Crootof, S. Kelly-Richards. 2016. The urban water-energy nexus: Drivers and responses to global change in the ‘urban century’. In H. Hettiarachchi, R. Ardakanian (eds.) Environmental Resource Management and the Nexus Approach: Managing Water, Soil, and Waste in the Context of Global Change, Springer, Berlin, pp. 113-140.

Scott, C.A. 2014. Eletricidade para o bombeamento de água subterrânea: limitações e oportunidades para respostas adaptativas às mudanças climáticas. Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente 30: 45-57.

Andersen, S.M., C.A. Scott (special-issue co-editors). 2014. Nexo Água e Energia nas Américas (Water-Energy Nexus in the Americas). Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente (Development and Environment) 30: pp. (Portuguese, Spanish, and English special issue, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil.

Andersen, S.M., C.A. Scott. 2014. Editorial. Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente 30: 5-6.

Ribeiro Neto, A., C.A. Scott, E. de Araújo Lima, S.M.G.L. Montenegro, J.A. Cirilo. 2014. Infrastructure sufficiency in meeting water demand under climate-induced socio-hydrological transition in the urbanizing Capibaribe River Basin – Brazil. Hydrology & Earth System Sciences 18: 3449–3459, doi: 10.5194/hess-18-3449-2014.

Scott, C.A., S. Vicuña, I. Blanco-Gutiérrez, F. Meza, C. Varela-Ortega. 2014. Irrigation efficiency and water-policy implications for river-basin resilience. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 18: 1339–1348, doi: 10.5194/hess-18-1339-2014.

Sivapalan, M., M. Konar, V. Srinivasan, A. Chhatre, A. Wutich, C.A. Scott, J. L. Wescoat, I. Rodríguez-Iturbe. 2014. Socio-hydrology: use-inspired water sustainability science for the Anthropocene. Earth’s Future 2: 1-6, doi: 10.1002/2013EF000164.

Halper, E., S. Dall’erba, R. Bark, C.A. Scott, S. Yool. 2015. Effects of irrigated parks on outdoor residential water use in a semi-arid city. Landscape and Urban Planning 134: 210–220, doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.09.005.

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.

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.

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Contact Information

Christopher Scott
Professor, Geography & Development, and Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy; Distinguished Scholar, University of Arizona 1885 Society
Telephone: 520-621-8473
Office: ENR2 S421


PhD, Cornell University, 1998

MS, Cornell University, 1991

BA and BS, Swarthmore College, 1985

Courses Taught

Water-Energy-Food 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 469/569 [Syllabus]