FISHWATER: Fishes as Indicators of Sustainable Human Water Allocation and Threatened Environmental Resources
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My research framework has potential to contribute to development of ecological guidelines for human water allocation, including using fishes as indicators of water overexploitation and threats to ecosystem and human wellbeing. Furthermore, my research addresses at least three grand challenges identified by the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, including protecting our environment, improving our health, and feeding our world. Because most of the current global irrigated agriculture is supported by a relatively small number of highly overexploited aquifers, developing fish-based indicators for early detection of depletion could benefit irrigated agriculture as less exploited aquifers are tapped. Thus, development of fishes as indicators of sustainable human water allocation and threated environmental resources has the potential to make meaningful contributions to improving human livelihood, health, and food security on a global scale. To accomplish this goal, I have identified three core objectives aimed at groundwater, surface water, and the hydrologic cycle that links climate to water availability from groundwater and surface water resources.