Announcements - Spring 2012 Newsletter

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WRRC Student Takes Young Professional Prize at AZ Water Conference

Kelly Mott Lacroix, graduate research assistant at the WRRC, is the 2012 winner of the AZ Water’s Young Professionals Fresh Ideas contest for her presentation at this year AZ Water conference, May 2-4. AZ Water will be sending Kelly to the national conference of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in Dallas, Texas, June 10th-14th to present her poster. The Fresh Ideas poster session at AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE) is intended to involve young professionals in AWWA and stimulate progressive thinking. Each year AWWA sections hold competitions and select winners to send to ACE. This is the 5th year that AZ Water has sent Young Professionals to the ACE.

Kelly won for her presentation describing her work at the WRRC on assessing environmental water needs in Arizona and the Colorado River basin. Her presentation focused on the WRRC’s work with stakeholders across Arizona to understand how to define environmental water needs; identify how to incorporate them into planning; and build upon continuing efforts to address the increasing water demands in Arizona.

Webinar Series on Water Conservation for the Environment Offered

The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) is hosting a new webinar series focused on innovative approaches to link water use with the environment. This five part series stems from the WRRC’s Conserve to Enhance water conservation program and their environmental water planning efforts. The second installment in this series occurred May 10, 2012 with the theme, “Achieving Environmental Goals through Water Utility-based Incentive Programs.” Featured speakers included Drew Beckwith (Water Policy Manager, Western Resource Advocates), Dale Lyons (Water Resources Coordinator, City of Santa Fe Water Division), and Candice Rupprecht (Applied Programs Coordinator, WRRC). The final three webinar presentations will take place over the summer and discuss topics such as

  • Establishing a User Contribution Program (June 2012)
  • Accounting Mechanisms for Tracking Water Conservation and User Contributions (July 2012)
  • Program Evaluation and Expansion in Your Community (August 2012)

For more about these webinars, please visit the WRRC website at

U.S. Water Prizes Awarded

The Clean Water America Alliance, a non-profit association of individuals and organizations, both public and private, hosted a ceremony in Washington D.C. to award the 2012 U.S. Water Prize. The prize was presented to six outstanding organizations at the ceremony attended by 300 U.S. water leaders. Keynote speakers at the ceremony included the Honorable Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior; Nancy Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and; Ann Mills, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Two of the prize winners have Arizona connections. According to the Alliance’s description of the organizations, “Pepsico Frito- Lay is instilling a corporate culture of water conservation and reuse to save water, energy, and money. As one example, a Frito-Lay chip-making facility in Casa Grande, Arizona is reducing its water footprint by cleaning and re-using process water, leaving more for citizens and ecosystems in a thirsty region. A 700,000 gallonper- day system recycles process water and treats it to drinking water standards for various uses within the plant, saving up to 100 million gallons of fresh water per year that would otherwise be withdrawn from the region’s aquifer.”

Accomplishments in education were also honored, with the award to Project WET Foundation, a national organization that includes Arizona Project WET. In the description of Project WET, the Alliance stated that the organization “has created a world-wide water web of students, teachers, trainers, and sustainers in 50 states and 56 countries, with no sign of slowing down. Educational and inspirational tools help children of all ages connect to their watersheds, see the worth of water and take action for stewardship and sustainability.”

Wild About Water

Have you ever wondered -

  • Where does the water that pours from our faucets come from?
  • Why are Arizona’s rivers so vital for both people and nature?
  • What can we do to save water and protect our rivers?

Participants in Arizona Project WET’s “Wild About Water” learn the answers to these three key questions about our rivers. The Nature Conservancy and Arizona Project WET are working together to provide fun and interactive ways for students, teachers and community leaders to learn about Arizona’s rivers—and the journey water takes to our faucets.

During the 2011-12 school year, this partnership reached 10,000 students in the Phoenix area. Activities included: classroom activities, science education and water audits; research field trips that give students an invaluable firsthand look at the state’s rivers; and water festivals that engage young students in fun activities. To find out more, watch the video at