Sharon B. Megdal

Director, Water Resources Research Center (WRRC)

Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, 350 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719 USA

Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D. is Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), a Cooperative Extension center and a research unit in the College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences. Other primary titles are Professor and Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor, and Distinguished Outreach Professor. 

Sharon Megdal aims to bridge the academic, practitioner, and civil society communities through water policy and management research, education, and engagement programs. The geographic scope of Dr. Megdal’s work ranges from local to international. Applied research projects include analysis of water management, policy, and governance in water-scarce regions, groundwater recharge, and transboundary aquifer assessment. 

She is the lead editor of the book, Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges. She has guest edited several special journal issues, the most recent entitled Advances in Transboundary Aquifer Assessment. Dr. Megdal teaches the graduate course “Water Policy in Arizona and Semi-arid Regions”. In 2020, she was awarded the Warren A. Hall Medal for lifetime achievement in water resources research and education by the Universities Council on Water Resources. In 2023, she has been named a University of Arizona Woman of Impact, and in 2024 she received the “Salt of the Earth” award from the Multi-State Salinity Coalition. 

Sharon Megdal serves as on the Board of Governors for the Kasser Joint Institute for Food, Water, and Energy Security, and is an ex officio member of the Leadership Team for the Colorado River Basin Water & Tribes Initiative. She was a member of the University of Arizona Presidential Advisory Commission on the Future of Agriculture and Food Production in a Drying Climate, which published its report in August 2023. In May 2023, she was appointed to Governor Hobbs’ Water Policy Council. Recent professional service includes serving for 12 years as a popularly elected Director for the Central Arizona Project, the Board of Directors for the American Water Resources Association, and Board President for the International Arid Lands Consortium. Dr. Megdal has served on numerous Arizona boards and commissions, including the Arizona Corporation Commission, the State Transportation Board, and the Arizona Medical Board. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University. Dr. Megdal’s full CV, along with her policy columns and Reflections essays, can be found at