• Investigation of thermal regimes of lakes used for water supply and examination of drinking water system in Kotzebue, Alaska

      Bendlova, Tereza; Arp, Christopher D.; Duffy, Lawrence K.; Schnabel, William E.; Barnes, David L. (2012-08)
      Many villages in Arctic Alaska rely on lakes for water supply, such as the Alaskan City of Kotzebue, and these lakes may be sensitive to climate variability and change, particularly thermal regimes and corresponding effects on water quality. Thus, I initiated a study of water supply lakes in Kotzebue to collect data for developing a model to hindcast summer thermal regimes. Surface (Tws) and bed (Twb) temperature data collected from two water supply lakes and two control lakes from June 22nd-August 28th 2011 showed a similar pattern in relation to air temperature (Ta) and solar radiation with more frequent stratification in the deeper lakes. The average Tws for all lakes during this period was 14.5°C, which was 3.4°C higher than Ta for the same period. I modeled Tws from 1985 to 2010 using Ta, and theoretical clear-sky solar radiation (TCSR) to analyze interannual variability, trends, and provide a baseline dataset. Similar to patterns in Ta for this period, I found no trend in mean Tws for the main lake used for water supply (Devil's Lake), but considerable variation ranging from 12.2°C in 2000 to 19.2°C in 2004. My analysis suggests that 44% of years during this 25 year period maximum daily Tws surpassed 20°C for at least one day. This hindcasted dataset can provide water supply managers in Kotzebue and other Arctic villages with a record of past conditions and a model for how lakes may respond to future climate change and variability that could impact water quality.
    • Understanding institutional and social factors relating to the provisioning of water and sanitation services in rural Alaska: perspectives on community self-reliance from nine Native villages of Interior Alaska

      Ochante Cáceres, Mercedes Fátima (2013-05)
      The global community acknowledges the essential nature of potable water and proper sanitation to the realization of human rights. Since 1959 federal, state and tribal efforts have focused on the goal of equitably providing these services to Alaska Native villages. However, demographic and geographical realities along with limited resources pose formidable challenges to achieving this lofty goal. This thesis explores the challenges to providing safe drinking water in remote Interior Alaska villages and their impact on self-reliance from the perspectives of knowledgeable village residents. Findings from a grounded theory analysis reveal that despite competence and concerted efforts to meet community needs, social and institutional dimensions pose difficulties to sustainable water services. Such challenges include community perceptions about treated water, communication barriers, unharnessed local expertise and opportunities to develop local capacity, complicated needs assessment and resource acquisition processes, mismatched policies and technology vis-a-vis the realities of village living, and resident out migration.