­­Breakfast With the Economists Offers Insights on Economy and Arizona’s Water Future

June 13, 2024
breakfast with the economist attendees and speaker Sharon Megdal

The UArizona Eller College of Management hosted an insightful “Breakfast with the Economists” event, which provided rich data and context for business leaders, decision-makers, and anyone curious about the latest trends in Arizona’s economy and the future of Arizona water resources. Dr. George Hammond, director of the Economic and Business Research Center (EBRC), opened the event with a discussion of the latest information on labor markets, inflation, housing permits, housing affordability, and personal income in Tucson, Phoenix, and Arizona, as well as a forecast for continued growth for jobs, personal income, and population. He gave an overview of the award-winning Making Action Possible (MAP) Dashboard, which provides users with reliable, regularly updated economic information and graphics on key categories of state and local economies. Following his remarks, this year’s invited speaker, WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal, provided an overview of Arizona water resources and what to expect in the future. An applied microeconomist by training, Megdal described how her career path led her to water policy and management when she was appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission by then-governor Bruce Babbitt in the 1980s. Her talk focused on two Arizona “wicked water” problems: 1) the Colorado River Basin supply-demand imbalance and 2) groundwater depletion. Dr. Megdal emphasized that despite the challenges facing Arizona, we are capable of adapting to changing water conditions through innovation, partnerships, and other actions.