Shane C. Burgess
Shane C. Burgess, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Vice President for Veterinary Sciences and Cooperative Extension, University of Arizona
As Dean of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, it was my honor to deliver an opening welcome at the Water Resources Research Center Annual Conference on June 9. As I was presenting my remarks, the conference center staff was carrying additional chairs into the already-filled room, to accommodate a large number of people who had registered on site. It is extremely clear there is wide interest across Arizona in Indigenous Perspectives on Sustainable Water Practices. The WRRC's goal of initiating dialogue between water managers and policy makers on Native as well as non-Native lands is well-timed.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with our vast diversity of research, teaching, and Extension programs related to water, is a strong choice for hosting a dialogue on sustainable water management. Our research extends into agriculture, rangeland, and climate science, with a statewide network of knowledgeable Cooperative Extension faculty and staff providing educational programs all of which have taken on added importance in this time of impending surface water shortage. The 2015 WRRC Conference would not have been a success, however, without our many partners. We were pleased to receive the support and cooperation of the Gila River Indian Community, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, and other tribal partners. Additional support came from government agencies, environmental consultants and lawyers, and agricultural professionals, representing a range of interest in tribal water here in Arizona.
Finally, I wish to extend my thanks to our many speakers, who delivered current and eloquent messages focused on tribal water management. We hope the WRRC Conference was only the beginning of what will prove to be fruitful dialogue.