Jenna Cleveland is a Masters student in the Planning at the University of Arizona. As an undergraduate, she attended Roanoke College in Virginia on a full-ride scholarship. Jenna graduated as Roanoke College’s valedictorian in 2005, earning both a BS in History and a BS in Religion. After graduating she moved to Istanbul, Turkey, where she taught English as a Second Language for two and a half years. When she moved to Tucson, Jenna took a course on water sustainability at the University of Arizona that opened her eyes to the world of water.
In pursuit of this new interest, Jenna applied for a summer position with the WRRC in 2011 to help organize a water harvesting roundtable. This effort was a response to the growing number of questions WRRC staff were fielding regarding water harvesting. The roundtable brought together practitioners, interested community members, and academics to discuss the state of water harvesting in the Tucson region. Another aim of the roundtable was to open communication channels between the various groups involved with water harvesting. To further this goal, the WRRC established the Rainwater/Stormwater Professionals Network (RSPN) and holds semi-annual meetings of the group. Jenna also communicates with the network via email to pass along updates and interesting news.
A second result of the roundtable was the decision by the WRRC to apply for a Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grant to develop a decision-support guide for water utilities considering implementing water harvesting. The grant application was successful, and Jenna was asked to work as a graduate research assistant on the two-year project, entitled “Utility Guide to Rainwater/Stormwater Harvesting as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change.” As a member of the project team, Jenna has the chance to work closely with an environmental consultant who helped develop the City of Tucson’s Commercial Water Harvesting Ordinance as well as the members of the diverse Technical Advisory Committee. She has also had plenty of opportunities to practice her presentation skills! Her poster on the WaterSMART project garnered second place in the Graduate Student Showcase, Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture division.
Working on the WaterSMART grant has afforded Jenna several other exciting opportunities. She is a member of the Pima County Regional Flood Control District’s (PCRFCD) Low Impact Development Working Group. This group meets monthly to provide guidance on development of a neighborhood-scale water harvesting manual and case studies catalog. In addition, Jenna worked with the Pima Association of Government’s Sustainable Environment Program this past summer to help create a “report card” of water harvesting, green infrastructure, and low impact development efforts in the region.
In her own coursework, Jenna is interested in the intersection between water and urban planning. She sees a strong role for planners in the design and implementation of water harvesting practices in the urban environment, especially since one of the strongest arguments for water harvesting is the wide-spread community benefits it can afford. Appreciating these benefits requires an interdisciplinary approach that planners are wellequipped to pursue.