IN THIS ISSUE: Vigil Webinar Recap, ASCE Report, APW-Stormwater Management, Water to Wildlife, Desert Plants, Graduate Assistant Position
Reflections: Relevance Today of Comments 
on Arizona’s Future from 1987 
I have lived in Arizona for close to 42 years. When I moved to Arizona from New Jersey, where I grew up and was educated, I had no idea I would become a water professional. I studied economics as an undergraduate at Rutgers University and as a graduate student at Princeton University. My fields of specialization were Public Sector Economics (the economics of government tax and expenditure policy), Econometrics (using statistical methods and models to characterize economic behavior), and International Economics. Note the absence of anything sounding like water, agricultural, or environmental economics.

Brown Bag Webinar - Arizona Water Blueprint: A Roadmap to Good Stewardship

Date: Thursday, September 17, 2020
Time: 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
Location: Webinar Only

Speakers: Sarah Porter, Director, Kyl Center for Water Policy; Susan Craig, Water Policy Analyst, Kyl Center for Water Policy

Speakers from the Kyl Center for Water Policy will be presenting the Arizona Water Blueprint: A Roadmap to Good Stewardship. This signature project is an innovative interactive map of the state’s water resources and infrastructure. Rich with data, the Blueprint is designed to foster holistic water resource thinking and informed water policy discussions to influence sound water stewardship in the state. The Blueprint offers opportunities for both free exploration and guided tours, and in the future it will feature detailed information about proposed augmentation projects and the water resilience of communities throughout the state.

Upcoming Webinars

Oct. 22 – Water for Nature
Kristen Wolfe, Coordinator, Sustainable Water Workgroup

Nov. 13 – Coronavirus Response at the Central Arizona Project
Ted Cooke, General Manager, Central Arizona Project

Nov. 18 – Bureau of Reclamation Programs Supporting Arizona Tribes
Kevin Black, Program Manager, US Bureau of Reclamation 

Dec. 2 – Conservation in the San Pedro River Basin
Scott Deeny, Arizona Water Program Lead, The Nature Conservancy
Holly Richter, Arizona Water Projects Director, The Nature Conservancy
Tribal Water Law Conference: Expanding Access in a Shrinking Environment

Date: September 14-15, 2020 
This year, the Tribal Law Institute's 9th Annual Conference will be online. Distinguished speakers will present an update on current tribal water law issues. Topics include effects of climate change on water rights, tribal water rights settlements, tribal water marketing basics, and water’s role in the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on tribal communities. In addition, Heather Whiteman Runs Him, Director of the Tribal Justice Clinic in UArizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, and Stanley Pollack, Assistant Attorney General - Water Rights Unit for the Navajo Nation, will talk on the ethical consideration in representing tribal clients. 

AACD and Drought Contingency Plan Workshop: DCP and Impacts of Central Arizona Project Water Deliveries to Pinal Area Farmers

Date: September 18, 2020 
  • AACD and NRCDs Explained
  • The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
  • CSP and Other NRCS Programs
  • Pinal County Perspectives on DCP
  • The Drought Contingency Plan and the Impacts to Pinal County Farmers

WRRC Hosts Daryl Vigil for Brown Bag Webinar

The WRRC’s 2020 Fall Semester Brown Bag Webinar series began this week with a deeply engaging presentation from Daryl Vigil, co-facilitator of the Water and Tribes Initiative. Vigil’s presentation, Toward a Sense of the Basin: Designing a Collaborative Process to Develop the Next Set of Guidelines for the Colorado River System, outlined a recent report with the same title from the Water and Tribes Initiative that Vigil co-produced. Vigil began by sharing some of his own experiences with the Colorado River to frame the broader discussion of the mission of the Water and Tribes Initiative, which he described as an effort to promote tribal conversations and the inclusion of tribal voices in the formal process of developing the next set of guidelines for the Colorado River. Vigil explained that, as the title suggests, the central motivation behind the project was to really get a sense of the basin, and to understand the diversity of visions for the future of the river held by the spectrum of stakeholders. The product of interviews and workshops, the report identified options for tribal participation and the inclusion of indigenous knowledge and cultural values in water management throughout the basin.

ASCE Report Links Water System Investment to Economic Outcomes

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is known for its five-year infrastructure report card, which grades the condition of US dams and levees, roads and bridges, transportation, and water and wastewater systems. On August 26, ASCE released a report, “The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure: How a Failure to Act Would Affect the U.S. Economy Recovery,” which translates low grades received over many years by water and wastewater infrastructure into economic impacts. A product of the ASCE’s Value of Water Campaign, the report estimates that annual costs to American households from water and wastewater failures will rise from $2 billion to $14 billion within 20 years. In 2019, water service disruptions in 11 water-reliant industries caused $51 billion of economic loss. Without increased investment, this loss would grow to $264 billion by 2039, and more than $3.9 trillion in business sales would be lost over the same period, resulting in 636,000 lost jobs. With adequate investment, however, ASCE predicts that in 20 years, “US GDP would grow by $4.5 trillion,” the economy would add “800,000 new jobs, and household disposable income would rise by more than $2,000.”

Explore Stormwater Best Management Practices with APW

As part of developing online resources for K-12 teachers, Arizona Project WET created a new YouTube video to take viewers on an adventure throughout the University of Arizona and around Tucson to discover some Best Management Practices (BMPs) and how they help manage stormwater. Learners discover the amazing benefits and functions of rain gardens, xeriscaping, swales, trees, straw wattles, curb cuts, and more. This video is for everyone! We hope our video inspires everyone to discover stormwater BMPs around them and become a stormwater manager in their community. With scarce rainfall, little things like BMP scan make a big difference. Young learners can also deepen their learning by playing our Stormwater BMPs matching game on TinyTap. The APW team is hard at work creating new tools and resources for K-12 educators. Stay tuned for more!

Sending Water to Wildlife

Soaring temperatures and dry conditions have created a water crisis for Arizona’s wildlife. Many animals depend on backcountry water catchments for hydration. In normal years, water stores are filled by monsoon rains, but this year they are being filled by Arizona Game and Fish Department via tankers and even helicopters. To help pay for the nearly $1M annual cost of water deliveries, AZ Game and Fish has created a fundraising campaign called “Send Water.” Approximately 3,000 water stations throughout the state provide life-saving hydration for all manner of wildlife all year long. Visit their donation page to learn about how you can contribute to keep the water deliveries going.

The “Growing Benefits” of Desert Plants

According to a recent article in the journal Plants, People, Planet, over a dozen researchers from the Southwest US and Mexico are combining efforts to “present a model for farming in arid landscapes that's designed to benefit land health, reduce disease risks and restore economic well-being to desert communities.” This team of scientists, led by the University of Arizona's Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, has been working toward restructuring desert food production by suggesting farmers choose crops that are already adapted to arid climates, incorporating companion-planting into their designs, and integrating the use of solar energy and rainwater harvesting. This model aims to help reduce heat stress for both plants and farmers and would be a significant shift from conventional farming methods which tend to use water-consumptive and heat-intolerant plants. By selecting food crops that are well-adapted to desert climates such as agave and wild tepary bean, the model can improve food system resilience and provide health benefits to arid regions in an impending climate change crisis.

WRRC Hiring Graduate Assistant, Outreach (GAO)

The WRRC is hiring a Graduate Assistant, Outreach (GAO) to start as soon as possible! The GAO will be an integral member of the WRRC’s outreach and engagement team, contributing to the success of outreach campaigns, events,  publications, community engagement initiatives, and applied research. See the full position description here. Submit a letter of interest, resume, and two references to Michael Seronde at