Water Rustlers in Arizona:
Detecting Possible Illegal Water Use in Arid Lands using Remote Sensing and GIS Methods

John D. Nystuen
Emeritus Professor of Geography and Urban Planning

Maps courtesy of the Arizona Department of Water Resources.


* Purpose

Describe an example of an operational use of remote sensing and GIS by the Arizona Department of Water Resouces

* Problem

The problem: water sources, water use, and water law in the Phoenix and Tuscon regions of south-central Arizona combined in a water management effort to sustain adequate ground and surface water resources

* Monitoring Program

The monitoring program: Use of multispectral SPOT color images and ArcInfo land ownership (parcel) maps and water rights records in appropriate time frame, spatial resolution and extent

* Institutional Issues

Institutional issues:  Data management, multiple-purpose uses, departmental cost sharing, political issues and sustainable programs

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