In 2017, the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center started working on a Five-Year Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) effort funded by the federal government (Award No. G17AC00439).
Sharon B. Megdal
Sharon B. Megdal
350 North Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
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 and Life 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. Key engagement initiatives are Indigenous Water Dialogues and Diversifying Voices in Water Resources.
She is the lead editor of the book, Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges and she has guest edited several special journal issues. Dr. Megdal teaches the multi-disciplinary 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.
Sharon Megdal serves as on the Board of Governors for the Kasser Joint Institute for Food, Water, and Energy Security, is an ex officio member of the Leadership Team for the Colorado River Basin Water & Tribes Initiative, and is a member of the University of Arizona Presidential Advisory Commission on the Future of Agriculture and Food Production in a Drying Climate. 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 https://wrrc.arizona.edu/director.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing address: Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, 350 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719 USA
Office Phone: 1-520-621-9591;Mobile: 1-520-241-0298
WRRC web site: wrrc.arizona.edu
Groundwater is vital to the sustainability and survival of human communities in the U.S.-Mexico border region, a nearly 2000 mile-long, arid zone in North America where climate uncertainty prevails. More than 30 aquifers are known to abut or span the international boundary, supporting a border area population exceeding 15 million persons in 2020 (Figure 1). Groundwater is the sole or principal water source for more that half-a-dozen sister cities or communities ranging from one of the largest binational metropolitan zones, El Paso-Cd.
Water governance in the United States has followed a water federalism system, in which government functions are shared between federal and state authorities. Water federalism is the sharing of governance across different levels of government over freshwater quantity (water quantity federalism) and quality (water quality federalism). These terms have evolved throughout different eras of U.S. history. Initially, water federalism involved water quantity federalism only, and both state and federal governments had management prerogatives. The 1922 Colorado River Compact and the 1944 U.S.
The imbalance between water supply and demand is of growing concern globally. Rarely a day goes by without news about the dwindling surface water supplies, with the Colorado River as the poster child. Coverage of approaches to addressing the supply/demand imbalance is broad, with strategies including augmentation, reuse, market mechanisms, and conservation.
Droughts have severe impacts on the economy, society, and environment. They also have impacts on groundwater and vice versa. While most analyses consider drought and groundwater as disconnected, we argue that drought and groundwater management should be conjunctively considered. This article presents some key interconnections, identifies challenges, and discusses illustrative policy responses.
On August 16, 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced the first-ever Tier 1 Colorado River shortage. The water delivery cutbacks, which went into effect on January 1, 2022, per the “Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Low Basin Shortages and Coordinate Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead” (2007 Interim Guidelines), are most significant for the Central Arizona Project (CAP). Governed by the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, CAP delivers water into Central Arizona for use by tribal, municipal and industrial, and agricultural users.