niversity of Arizona was well represented at the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) and The National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) annual conference held on June 11-13.
Student Research Recognized in Earth Week Events
It’s that time of year. In honor of Earth Week, students are showcasing their work in oral presentations and posters at events organized by their academic departments. This week the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Science held its annual El Día del Agua y Atmósfera on Monday and the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science held “SWESx” on Wednesday and Thursday. Several students with connections to the WRRC participated in both events. Tim Lahmers, the WRRC’s 2017 Summer Writing Intern, spoke and Joel Atwood, the WEES Graduate Assistant, and Erin Gray, former student assistant for Arizona Project WET, both had posters at El Día. At SWESx, Valerisa Joe and Rebecca Bernat both made oral presentation. Joe is a graduate student in Jean McLain’s water quality laboratory and Bernat has worked with WRRC Director Sharon Megdal. Three student researchers who were awarded federal grants through the WRRC also presented: Ravindra Dwivedi—an oral presentation—and Amanda Minke—a poster—at El Día, and Rob Lynch—an oral presentation—at SWESx. Victoria Hermosilla, who, with the help of Atwood and other HAS students, organized the 2018 El Día, will be joining the WRRC this month to assist with work on the Water RAPIDS program.
At El Día, prizes were awarded for the best oral presentations and posters. The audience also was given a chance to vote for their favorites. The oral presentation winners were Antonio Meira for “Hydrologic assessment of bio-geochemical interactions at the sub-meter scale” and Jack Anderson for “Bioswales: Benefit or Burden”. Anderson also won the audience vote, which earned him a spot in the plenary session of the culminating Earth Week event. Minke and Samantha Swartz received undergraduate awards for their posters, and other posters honored were by Andrew Daus, Jihyun Kim, and Rebecca Stolar.
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is the intentional recharge (and storage) of water into an aquifer for future recovery or for environmental benefits. Mary Belle Cruz Ayala, a Ph.D. Student in Arid Lands Resource Sciences and a Graduate Research Assistant at the WRRC, recently presented her research on this topic at the 10th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR10) in Madrid, Spain. Her presentation, "Use of Managed Aquifer Recharge to Improve Water Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Mexico," presented results from the first paper from her Ph.D.
Each year, we are excited to see so many excellent students graduating and starting off on their academic or professional journeys. Last Friday, Elia Tapia, who has been working at the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) as a Graduate Research Assistant, and most recently as a Senior Research Specialist, received a Ph.D. in Arid Lands Resource Sciences with a minor in Hydrology. Elia has been with us since 2014, working on both the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) and the Water RAPIDS Program.
Mandla Kunnie has created a digital database of the locations of all rainwater harvesting infrastructure in the Tucson area. Such a database can help water managers plan for population growth and the associated increased demand on water resources.
World Water Day is a good day for reflection. Just a few days ago, on March 19, 2019, representatives of the seven states of the Colorado River Basin gathered in Phoenix, Arizona to sign a letter asking Congress to approve implementation of the drought contingency plans detailed in the documents attached to the letter.