WRRC 2024 Conference Agenda (Draft)

WRRC 2024 Annual Conference Agenda (Draft)

Draft Agenda (PDF)

Modified on:


1:00 PM


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

Tom Meixner Dedication

Meixner Family

1:45 PM

Meixner Tri-University Legacy Project

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


Student Presentations

  • Approach to Data Access, Hydroclimate Modeling and Scenario Development, Progress to Date
  • Alternative Recharge Approaches, Recharge Suitability and Baseflow Assessments
  • Landscape and Vegetation Management Options for Enhancing Runoff/Recharge
  • Options for Maximizing Urban Runoff, Capture and Recharge
  • Contributions of Stakeholder and Partner Engagement to ATUR process


  • Neha Gupta, Assistant Research Professor, Arizona Institute for Resilience, University of Arizona
    — Context, Rationale and Approach for the ATUR-WRP Project 
3:00 PM

Academic Collaborations

Moderator -  Jamie McEvoy


  • Rashi Bhushan, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Arizona
    — Developing a Decision Support Tool for Net Zero Urban Water Systems in the US Southwest: A Collaborative Approach with Academic and Utility Partners
  • Luisa Ikner, Assistant Professor, Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center, University of Arizona
    — Building Water Resource Resilience by Strengthening Academic-Water Utility Partnerships
  • Laura Condon, Associate Professor, University of Arizona
    — Status and Progress of the UArizona Committee on the Future of Agriculture and Food Production in a Drying Climate
3:40 PM

Salt River Project Initiatives

  • Caitlin Brogan, Water Conservation Coordinator, Salt River Project
    — Conservation Through Collaboration: Landscape Irrigation Efficiency with Waterfluence
  • Additional Speakers TBA
4:15 PM

Journalists' Perspectives

Moderator - Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center


  • Tony Davis, Reporter, Arizona Daily Star
  • Deb Krol, Indigenous Affairs Reporter, The Arizona Republic
  • Alex Hager, Reporter, KUNC
4:55 PM

Day 1 Wrap

Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center

5:00 PM

Reception/Poster Session

Announcer, poster winners - Ty Morton, Senior Project Manager, HDR

DAY 2 

8:30 AM

Welcome Back

Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center

8:40 AM

Governor's Water  Policy Council Update

Moderator - TBA

9:10 AM

Partnership Development & Process

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


  • Katerine Napan, Environmental Engineer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
    — Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Draft Comprehensive Framework for Advanced Water Purification
  • Dave Roberts, Former Senior Director of Water Resources, Salt River Project 
    — A New Paradigm for Reaching Sustainability in the Upper San Pedro River Watershed
  • David Wegner, Scientist & Public Policy Strategist, Woolpert Engineering & NAS, Water Science and
    Technology Board  

    — Climate Change and Water Availability
  • Amy Flores, Program Manager, ASU Sustainability Teachers' Academies
    — Storm Smart Schools
10:10 AM BREAK
10:25 AM

Keynote - Colorado River Update

Tom Buschatzke, Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources- Invited

10:50 AM

Research & Tool Development 

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

Session Speakers

  • Joseph Blankinship, Associate Professor, University of Arizona
    — Developing Solutions to Arizona Water Scarcity Through the Desert Agriculture Soil Health Initiative (DASHI)
  • 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
  • Ethan Orr, Associate Director, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Economic Development, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
    — The University of Arizona On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency program
  • Somnath Mondal, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Arizona State University
    — Drought Resilience through Advanced Monitoring, Prediction, and Mitigation Strategies
11:40 AM LUNCH

Lunch Service

12:05 PM

Luncheon Program

Acknowledgments - Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center

Student Poster Awards - Ty Morton, Senior Project Manager, HDR

12:15 PM

Luncheon Keynote

Speaker - Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community

12:45 PM BREAK
12:50 PM

Water User Services & Tools

Moderator - Shaina Shay, The Water Report

Session Speakers

  • Raluca Mihalcescu, Water Conservation Coordinator, Arizona Water Company
    — Arizona Water Company’s Approach to Water Conservation
  • Jing Luo, Vice President/Founder, Apex Applied Technology, Inc
    — North Leupp Family Farms' Navajo Nation rural food hub
  • Season Martin, CEO, Virga Labs
    — Colorado River Basin Post-2026 Operations Exploration Tool
1:40 PM

Financing Solutions Panel Discussion

Moderator - Faith Sternlieb


  • Chelsea McGuire, Assistant Director, External Affairs, Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona
    — Partnerships in Augmentation
  • Maya Clifford, Water Resources Manager, Engineer, New Mexico State
    — The Arizona Water Settlements Act Program
  • Christian Fauser, Western Water Policy Associate, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership    
    — Cross-Watershed Coordination: Reducing Barriers to Accessing Federal Funding to Scale Watershed Restoration Efforts in Arizona
  • Elijah Tangenberg, Water Resources Specialist, City of Phoenix    
    — The Blue Bank Promise
2:45 PM


Paul Brierley, Director, Arizona Department of Agriculture

2:55 PM

On the Border

Moderator - Francisco Zamora- Invited

Session Speakers

  • Martha Gomez Sapiens, Researcher, Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona
    — The Binational Effort to Restore the Colorado River Delta
  • Roberto Molina, Associate Director West Region, Grants Financing Department, The North American Development Bank 
  • Elia Tapia, Professor, Universidad de Sonora

    TAAP-A/S (Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program-Arizona/Sonora)

3:45 PM

Closing Remarks

Sharon B. Megdal, Director, Water Resources Research Center

4:00 PM Conclude Program