Published: March 22, 2023
Holly Roth

In honor of World Water Day on March 22, the Colorado State University Libraries are announcing a new wave of water research, thanks to the Libraries’ 2023 Water Scholar Award research grants.

This year’s recipients are Holly Roth, doctoral student of physical geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, and David Vail, associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska Kearney.

The Water Scholar Awards are research grants that help offset the expenses of researchers engaged in studies that will benefit from access to the holdings of the Water Resources Archive. The grants may also offset costs associated with presentations, publications or other products resulting from that research.

Understanding water evaporation

Holly Roth is an interdisciplinary scientist applying scientific processes and findings to water resource management decisions in the western U.S.

The award will help Roth develop her doctoral dissertation that explores the changing dynamics and impacts of reservoir evaporation on water resources management in Colorado. Her research will help managers make informed decisions and better adapt to the effects of climate change.

Field notes, memos, reports and photographs from collections related to engineer Ralph Parshall, the Colorado Water Congress and the Colorado-Big Thompson Project will help her learn about historical precedents of and methods to measure evaporation.

“Evaporation is a major, but often misrepresented, component of the water cycle here in Colorado, and determining the best way to account for this water loss has always been a topic of discussion,” Roth said.

“I’m looking forward to working in the Water Resources Archive, as I will be able to work with new colleagues across disciplines and I will have access to so many historical materials,” Roth added. “All of these different documents will contribute significantly to my progress in my doctoral program.”