I have contributed a column to the Arizona Water Resource newsletter since joining the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center in February 2002. As the WRRC closes the book on the quarterly Arizona Water Resource, I am using this 76th column as the foreword to a compilation of my columns.
Public Policy Review
WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal has contributed to every issue of the WRRC’s Arizona Water Resource newsletter since 2002 with a timely, informative and inspiring public policy column. She has written on topics ranging across the water policy spectrum, from economics and water pricing to governance and citizen participation, conjunctive water management to stream restoration, local water planning to shared international challenges and solutions. With the final issue of Arizona Water Resource in October 2018, the WRRC has produced a complete collection of her columns, many of which have remained relevant over time.
Looking Back . . . Past Columns Shed Light on Current Issues
Payoffs From Water-Saving Practices May Have Down-the-Line Costs
Practicing water conservation is generally acknowledged to be a good thing. Everyone recognizes that one way to lessen the need to find new water sources to supply growing populations is through demand side reductions or water conservation. As with most water management issues, however, complications invariably arise. One’s perspective may depend on what kind of water is being conserved and where.
WRRC Soldiers On In Face of Bittersweet News and Budget Woes
This column is a bittersweet one. I say this because this issue of the newsletter marks the end of an era: Joe Gelt is retiring as Water Resources Research Center editor/writer after working tirelessly at the center for over 20 years.
Study Raises Issues to Consider in Fourth Management Plan
We are at a critical juncture in water management in Arizona. We are increasingly relying on known renewable water supplies, particularly Central Arizona Project water. Meanwhile drought continues, and the effects of climate change on our water supplies is unknown. Also uncertain is the amount of water to be reused and for what purposes.
An American in Paris Realizes Arizona Could Do More to Save Water
I traveled to Paris in June to give a lecture sponsored by the Parisian water provider Eau de Paris and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. A government-funded research organization administered by France’s Ministry of Research, CNRS and the University of Arizona recently entered into a four-year Joint International Unit on Water, Environment and Public Policy.
Much Done, Much More to Do to Develop Needed State Water Plan
I have been thinking quite a bit about water planning. Water managers and leaders throughout the state have been discussing the many challenges associated with meeting the water demands of our state’s growing population. We’ve experienced several years of drought conditions, and climate change models predict the Southwest will become drier and hotter. Even in the best of circumstances, we know there is a need to identify additional water supplies to meet expected growth in water demand.
"Conserve to Enhance,” Conserve Water to Enhance the Environment
Regular readers of this column know I have often discussed the daunting challenge of meeting the water needs of our growing population. Meeting the water needs of the environment is equally challenging. Mostly silent on the issue of water for the environment, Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act and related water law offer little help in confronting the challenge.
Water Professionals, Citizens Mutually Benefit at Tucson Water Forum
In my last column, I highlighted the need for broadening and deepening the dialogue on Arizona’s water management challenges. On Friday, Oct. 26 the Tucson region took a step in that direction, with almost 300 people attending...
Beachside, Columnist Ponders Arizona’s Water Resources’ Horizon
Every summer I spend about two weeks enjoying the cool air, beaches and newspapers of Southern California. My beachside newspaper reading included coverage of speeches of Gov. Schwarzenegger explaining his new $5.9 billion spending program for California’s water system.
WRRC’s Year-in-Review Highlights Varied and Productive Projects
One of my columns each year is devoted to Water Resources Research Center activities as I highlight some of my recent and ongoing projects. Contrary to what some people think, professors do not take long summer vacations.
Next Generation of Water Experts Explore Varied Real-World Issues
We in the water world are all familiar — perhaps too familiar — with the distinction often made between whiskey and water, that one is for drinking and the other is to fight over. Another distinction often promulgated is that work is the real world and the university is not as real.
WRRC Strives to Provide Useful Outreach — Do we serve your needs?
I was recently in Washington for the annual meeting of water center directors from across the country, and I participated in a panel on outreach. My assignment was to describe the Water Resources Research Center outreach efforts and offer some thoughts about what makes an effective outreach program.
Front-Row View of Federal Water Lawmaking Shows Process Works
Otto von Bismarck reportedly once said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” I am not sure what to make of this remark since lawmaking, not sausage making, is my interest.
Study of Adequacy of Tucson’s Water Supplies Has Broad Application
Arizona’s continued rapid growth raises concerns about the connection between growth and water supplies. The issue is on the minds of many; I am frequently asked about the sufficiency of supplies relative to growing demands.
Visit Shows Israel Faces Similar Water Management Issues as Arizona
I traveled to Israel this summer to present a paper at a conference and to meet with researchers and other water professionals to learn about Israeli water management and policy. My perception was that, while quite a bit of Arizona-Israeli collaboration on technical water issues seemed to have occurred, less had taken place in the social science and policy arenas.
Time For Annual State-Of-The-WRRC Report
I devote one column a year to providing an update on developments at the Water Resources Research Center. The end of the fiscal year provides a suitable occasion, so here I go.
Arizona Officials Grapple with Growth–Water Supply Dilemma
Information about this year’s Water Resources Research Center conference is frontpage news in this edition of the Arizona Water Resource. The 2003 WRRC conference considered rural and watershed-based solutions to water management issues. Most issues had to with growing demands for water, and since then rapid population growth — and drought — has continued. Water professionals in the state continue to discuss the challenges of assuring long-term water supplies and meeting water management objectives, whether statutory or otherwise.
Water Budget Can Be Monstrously Complicated
Recently, Ken Seasholes, Director of the Tucson Active Management Area, was a guest lecturer at the graduate seminar, Arizona Water Policy, which I teach with my colleague Kathy Jacobs.
Revised AWS Rules, Key to Efforts to Reduce Groundwater Overdraft
When I give introductory talks about groundwater management in Arizona, I note that the linchpin to our approach to reducing groundwater overdraft in the Active Management Areas is the Assured Water Supply Rules.