WRRC Director Megdal Interviewed by UArizona President Robbins

Aug. 18, 2023
dr. megdal and president robbins

WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal was recently interviewed by UArizona President Robert C. Robbins about Arizona’s water future. Robbins asked about the role of the WRRC, how and where we use water in Arizona, and what our future prospects may be. In her responses, Megdal highlighted the WRRC’s emphasis on helping educate about water, including Indigenous water issues and values, and “bridging the university with the communities of Arizona and beyond.” In response to Robbins’ question about where and how we use water, she explained that while the amount of water used in AZ has not changed much over the last few decades, the ways we use that water have shifted, with increases in municipal use and decreases of agricultural use, although agriculture still accounts for about 70% of AZ water usage.

Megdal also spoke about reduced Colorado River flows, noting that as availability of Colorado River water has decreased, we have supplemented with groundwater from aquifers, which is not being replenished. When Robbins then inquired further about the Colorado River shortage and the future of the system, Megdal responded that while demand has increased, supply has diminished, observing that more water has been allocated than has been available in the river in recent years. She noted that “in a nutshell…we have to get back into a new equilibrium.” Megdal also emphasized the need to collectively work toward water solutions, observing that “This is truly one of those things we’re all in it together.” This aligns with the theme of the WRRC’s 2023 Annual Conference on water solutions, recordings of which are available online.

Megdal’s interview was met with much positive feedback, with multiple water industry colleagues remarking on the wealth of information presented in a clear, easily accessible way. This was the first of two water-focused interviews by President Robbins, who noted in his newsletter that “these topics are at the forefront of the challenges we face.” The second interview will feature Robert Glennon, Regents professor at the James E. Rogers College of Law, who is known for his work in water law and policy.

Watch on YouTube 
WRRC 2023 Conference