WRRC Water Webinar: Addressing Transboundary Water Issues in the AZ-Sonora Border Region: The Arizona Perspective

sonora/arizona border




Joaquin Marruffo
Environmental Justice Coordinator, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Claudia Gil Anaya
Environmental Science Specialist, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

Watch the recorded webinar

The water dynamics in the Arizona-Sonora border region are complex and challenging. The environmental conditions of this region, as well as the socio-economic and political asymmetries of both countries, often result in serious water quality issues for the communities on both sides of the border, while also affecting public health at large. The accelerated growth undergone by the Sonora border communities, in addition to the limited resources of these communities to respond to such a pattern, often results in environmental and human health impacts on both sides. Despite the uniqueness of this border region, it also allows for effective binational cooperation opportunities and strategic planning through existing solid collaboration platforms such as the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the US EPA-Border 2025 Program, as well as the existence of binational entities such as the North American Development Bank and the International Boundary and Water Commission. The mission of the Border Programs Unit at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is to protect public health and the environment in Arizona border communities via collaboration with entities on both sides of the border to achieve tangible, on-the-ground improvements to environmental quality. This WRRC Water Webinar will address how the team works to develop, nurture, and strengthen working relationships with stakeholders to effectively resolve transboundary environmental issues.


Joaquin Marruffo headshot

Joaquin Marruffo holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a master's degree in Energy Management from Tecnológico de Monterrey, as well as a master’s degree in Environmental Planning from Arizona State University. Marruffo has worked in the environmental public sector for more than 25 years. He has worked for Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) in Mexico City, the Comisión de Ecología y Desarrollo Sustentable del Estado de Sonora, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, and the North American Development Bank, where he was part of the team that launched the first border green infrastructure program. Since 2020, Marruffo has worked for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, initially as the Border Programs Coordinator, then as the Border Programs Manager, and most recently, as the agency's Environmental Justice Coordinator.


Claudia Gil Anaya headshot

Claudia Gil Anaya began working at ADEQ in 2019 as the subject matter expert on border water issues for the Ambos Nogales region. Gil Anaya worked as a senior researcher at the Instituto Mexicano del Transporte; and for the City of Nogales, Sonora, at the Urban Development and Public Works and the Research and Planning Institute, developing hydraulic infrastructure plans, programs, and projects for flood control. Gil Anaya is a Civil Engineer with two master's degrees, one in Land Road Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua and the other in Geographic Information Systems from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México.