WRRC 2024 Conference Agenda

WRRC 2024 Annual Conference Agenda

Agenda (PDF)

DAY 1 – MARCH 12 Full Video

12:00 PM Registration
1:00 PM


  • Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona Video
  • Shane Burgess, Vice President, University of Arizona Division of Agriculture, Life & Veterinary Sciences & Cooperative Extension Video
1:15 PM

Dedication to the Memory and Legacy of Thomas Meixner

Kathleen Meixner and Family Video

1:45 PM

Meixner Tri-University Legacy Project

Moderator - Kathy Jacobs, Director, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, University of Arizona Video


Student Presentations

  • Aniket Gupta, University of Arizona & Abdul Moiz, Arizona State University
    Approach to Data Access, Hydroclimate Modeling and Scenario Development, Progress to Date Video PPT

  • Hector Venegas-Quinones, University of Arizona & Ryan Lima, Northern Arizona University
    Alternative Recharge Approaches, Recharge Suitability and Baseflow Assessments Video PPT

  • Fern Bromley, University of Arizona & Xin Su, Arizona State University
    Urban and Rural Land Management Options for Enhancing Runoff/Recharge Video PPT

Additional Project Overview

  • Neha Gupta, Assistant Research Professor, Arizona Institute for Resilience, University of Arizona & Ryan Lima, Northern Arizona University
    — Integration Efforts and Initial Products of ATUR Project Video PPT
2:45 PM BREAK (Sponsor Videos)
3:00 PM

Academic Collaborations

Moderator -  Jamie McEvoy, Associate Professor of Geography, Montana State University Video


  • Rashi Bhushan, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Arizona 
    — Developing a Decision Support Tool for Net Zero Urban Water Systems in the US Southwest: Academic and Utility Collaboration Video PPT
  • Luisa Ikner, Assistant Professor, Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center, University of Arizona
    — Building Water Resource Resilience by Strengthening Academic-Water Utility Partnerships Video PPT
  • Joaquin Ruiz, Director, Biosphere 2, Vice President for Global Environmental Futures, University of Arizona
    — Status and Progress of the UArizona Committee on the Future of Agriculture and Food Production in a Drying Climate Video
3:40 PM

Salt River Project Initiatives


  • Hannah Hansen, Water Planning Analyst, Salt River Project 
    — Downstream modification of Bartlett Dam Video PPT
  • Tice Supplee, Arizona/Southwest Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society
    — Horseshoe Reservoir Habitat Restoration Study Video PPT
  • Craig McGinnis, Water Rights Analyst, Salt River Project 
    — Roosevelt Dam Flood Control Space Temporary Operational Flexibility Video PPT
  • Caitlin Brogan, Water Conservation Coordinator, Salt River Project
    — Commercial, Industrial & Institutional Water Efficiency Partnerships Video PPT
4:15 PM

Journalists' Perspectives

Moderator - Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona Video


  • Tony Davis, Reporter, Arizona Daily Star Video
  • Deb Krol, Indigenous Affairs Reporter, The Arizona Republic Video
  • Alex Hager, Reporter, KUNC Video
5:00 PM

Day 1 Wrap

Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center

5:00 PM Reception/Poster Session
6:20 PM Announcement of Student Poster Award Winners - Ty Morton, Senior Project Manager, HDR
6:30 PM End of Reception

DAY 2 – MARCH 13 Full Video

7:30 AM Registration
8:30 AM

Welcome Back

Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona Video

8:40 AM Keynote – Paul Brierley, CEO, Arizona Department of AgricultureVideo
9:10 AM

Partnership Development & Process

Moderator - Thomas Throssell, Assistant Director, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Video


  • Linneth Lopez, Environmental Engineering Specialist III & Rhona Mallea, Project Manager, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality  
    — Forging Sustainable Futures: AWP Partnership Framework for Transforming Wastewater into Potable Water in Arizona Video PPT
  • Dave Roberts, Former Senior Director of Water Resources, Salt River Project 
    — Achieving Sustainability for the Upper San Pedro River Video PPT
  • David Wegner, Scientist & Public Policy Strategist, Woolpert Engineering & NAS, Water Science and Technology Board  
    — Climate Change and Water Availability Video PPT
  • Amy Flores, Program Manager, ASU Sustainability Teachers' Academies & Charlie Alcorn Watershed Management Group
    — Storm Smart Schools Video PPT
10:00 AM Keynote – The Honorable Katie Hobbs, Governor of Arizona Video
10:30 AM

BREAK (Sponsor Videos)


10:45 AM

Research & Tool Development 

Moderator - Chris Udall, Executive Director, Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona Video

Session Speakers

  • Joseph "Joey" Blankinship, Associate Professor, Environmental Science Department, University of Arizona
    — The Desert Agriculture Soil Health Initiative (DASHI) Video PPT
  • Andrew French, Retired Research Physical Scientist, USDA / ARS Maricopa
    — Quantitative Assessments of Water and Salt Balance for Cropping Systems in the Lower Colorado River Region Video PPT 
  • Ethan Orr, Associate Director, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Economic Development, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
    — The University of Arizona On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency program Video PPT 
  • Somnath Mondal, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Arizona State University
    — Assessing the 2023 Hot Droughts in Southwestern North America Video PPT 
11:35 AM LUNCH
12:00 PM

Luncheon Program

Acknowledgments - Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona Video

Announcement of Student Poster Award Winners - Ty Morton, Senior Project Manager, HDR Video 

12:10 PM Luncheon Keynote – The Honorable Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor of the Gila River Indian Community Video
12:45 PM

Water User Services & Tools

Moderator - Shaina Shay, Owner and Editor-in-Chief, The Water Report  Video

Session Speakers

  • Raluca Mihalcescu, Water Conservation Coordinator, Arizona Water Company 
    — The Success of Sustainability Elevated: an Integrated Demand Management Program Video PPT
  • Jing Luo, Vice President/Founder, Apex Applied Technology, Inc
    — A Star Solution to Safe Drinking Water Challenges on Native American Reservations Video PPT
  • Season Martin, CEO, Virga Labs
    — Colorado River Basin Post-2026 Operations Exploration Tool Video PPT
  • Caitlin Brogan, Water Conservation Coordinator, Salt River Project
    — Conservation Through Collaboration: Landscape Irrigation Efficiency with Waterfluence Video PPT
1:35 PM

Financing Solutions

Moderator - Faith Sternlieb, Associate Director of Engagement, Internet of Water, Center for Geospatial Solutions, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy  Video


  • Chelsea McGuire, Assistant Director, External Affairs, Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona
    — Partnerships in Augmentation Video PPT
  • Maya Clifford, Water Resources Manager, Engineer, New Mexico State
    — New Mexico’s Arizona Water Settlements Act Program Video 
  • Christian Fauser, Western Water Policy Associate, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Anna Murveit, Southwest Decision Resources    
    — Cross-Watershed Coordination: Reducing Barriers to Accessing Federal Funding to Scale Watershed Restoration Efforts in Arizona Video PPT
  • Elijah Tangenberg, Water Resources Specialist, City of Phoenix    
    — Conservation Collaboration: The City of Phoenix Cooling Tower Program’s Public-Private Partnership Video PPT
2:25 PM

BREAK (Sponsor Videos)


2:40 PM Keynote – Kristen Johnson, Manager, Colorado River Programs, Arizona Department of Water Resources Video PPT
3:05 PM

On the Border

Moderator - Francisco Zamora, Senior Director of Programs, Sonoran Institute Video

Session Speakers

  • Martha Gomez Sapiens, Researcher, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona
    — The Binational Effort to Restore the Colorado River Delta PPT
  • Roberto Molina, Associate Director West Region, Grants Financing Department, The North American Development Bank
    — Addressing Environmental Challenges on the U.S.-Mexico Border Video PPT
  • Elia Tapia, Professor, University of Sonora
    — Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program, Arizona-Sonora Video PPT
3:50 PM

Closing Remarks

Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona Video

4:00 PM End of Conference