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.
$: 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
  • American Indian Studies

Selected Publications

See Google Scholar

Scott, C.A., A.F Hill, A.M. Wilson (special issue editors). 2019. Pursuing Water Security in Socio-hydrological Systems, Water Security 4-5,

Scott, C.A., K. Ogden (special issue editors). 2018. The Nexus of Renewable Energy, Water, and Food Systems, Energies 11,

Scott, C.A., C. Staddon (special issue editors). 2018. The Global Water Security Challenge, Water International 43(8),

Scott, C.A., T. Albrecht, R. de Grenade, A. Zuniga-Teran, R.G. Varady, B. Thapa. 2018. Water security and the pursuit of food, energy, and earth systems resilience. Water International 43: 1055-1074, doi: 10.1080/02508060.2018.1534564.

Scott, C.A., F. Zhang, A. Mukherji (coordinating lead authors); W. Immerzeel, L. Bharati, D. Mustafa (lead authors); H. Zhang, T. Albrecht, A. Lutz, S. Nepal, A. Siddiqi, H. Kuemmerle, M. Qadir, S. Bhuchar, A. Prakash, R. Sinha (contributing authors). 2019. Water in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, Chapter 8 in P. Wester, A. Mishra, A. Mukherji, A.B. Shrestha (eds.), The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment – Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People, Springer, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-92288-1_8.

Lutz-Ley, A., R.H. Lee, C.A. Scott, Y. Peralta-Lugo. 2018. Food and Water Security in North America’s Transboundary Sonoran Desert: A Water-Exporting Dryland. Handbook of Water, Food and Society (M. Keulertz, T. Allan, T. Colman, B. Bromwich, eds.), Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190669799.013.22.

Everard, M., N. Gupta, C.A. Scott, P.C. Tiwari, B. Joshi, G. Kataria, S. Kumar. 2018. Assessing livelihood-ecosystem interdependencies and natural resource governance in Indian villages in the Middle Himalayas. Regional Environmental Change doi: 10.1007/s10113-018-1391-x.

Hammersley, M.A., C.A. Scott, H.R. Gimblett. 2018. Evolving conceptions of the role of large dams in social-ecological resilience. Ecology & Society 23(1): 40, doi: 10.5751/ES-09928-230140.

Albrecht, T.R., A.B. Crootof, C.A. Scott. 2018. The water-energy-food nexus: A systematic review of methods for nexus assessment. Environmental Research Letters 13, 043002, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaa9c6.

Pasqual, J.C., H.A. Bollmann, C.A. Scott, T. Edwiges, T.C. Baptista. 2018. Assessment of collective production of biomethane from livestock waste for urban transportation mobility in Brazil and the United States. Energies 11 (997), doi: 10.3390/en11040997.

Gerlak, A.K., L. House-Peters, R. Varady, T. Albrecht, A. Zuniga Teran, R. de Grenade, C. Cook, C.A. Scott. 2018. Water security: A review of place-based research. Environmental Science & Policy 82: 79-89, doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.01.009.

Gimblett, H.R., C.A. Scott, M.A. Hammersley. 2017. Dam removal on the Lower White Salmon River: Rewilding, sacred spaces, and ‘outstandingly remarkable values.’ International Journal of Wilderness 23(2): 34-40, 48.

Herwehe, L., C.A. Scott. 2017. Drought adaptation and development: Small-scale irrigated farming in northeast Brazil. Climate and Development, doi: 10.1080/17565529.2017.1301862.

Pasqualetti, M.J., T.E. Jones, L. Necefer, C.A. Scott, B.J. Colombi. 2016. A paradox of plenty: Renewable energy on Navajo Nation lands. Society and Natural Resources 29(8): 885-899, doi: 10.1080/08941920.2015.1107794.

Scott, C.A., A. Crootof, B. Thapa, R.K. Shrestha. 2016. Water-food-energy nexus: Challenges and opportunities. In L. Bharati, B.R. Sharma, V. Smakhtin (eds.), The Ganges River Basin: Status and Challenges in Water, Environment and Livelihoods, Routledge, London.

Scott, C.A., A. Lutz Ley. 2016. 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.

Zeitoun, M., B. Lankford, T. Krueger, T. Forsyth, R. Carter, A.Y. Hoekstra, R. Taylor, O. Varis, F. Cleaver, R. Boelens, L. Swatuk, D. Tickner, C.A. Scott, N. Mirumachi, N. Matthews. 2016. Complex water security policy challenges: An analysis of different research approaches. Global Environmental Change 39: 143–154, doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.04.010.

Misra, G., H. Misra, C.A. Scott. 2016. 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. 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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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., 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.

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.

Christopher Scott's picture

Contact Information

Christopher Scott
Professor, SGD; Director and Research Professor, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy; University Distinguished Scholar
Telephone: 520-626-8473
Office: ENR2 S421


PhD, Cornell University, 1998

MS, Cornell University, 1991

BA and BS, Swarthmore College, 1985

Courses Taught

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

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