IN THIS ISSUE: Karletta Chief, Water Series, Tribal Awards, APW, Red Star International
Dr. Karletta Chief to Lead
New Indigenous Resilience Center
“The current moment is one of unparalleled resilience perils that have had major adverse impacts for Native and Indigenous communities,” said Toni Massaro, the executive director of the UArizona Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, in a statement on the newly created Indigenous Resilience Center (IRC). On September 13, UArizona President Robert C. Robbins announced the creation of the IRC, which will be led by Dr. Karletta Chief, university distinguished outreach professor of environmental science and Cooperative Extension associate specialist. The IRC will be a partnership between Native Nations, the UArizona Institutes for Resilience, the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, and several academic programs and faculty members working to support the resilience of Indigenous communities.  

APS Sustainable Water Strategies and Practices
Date: Thursday, Oct 7, 2021
Time: 12:00 - 1:15 pm MST
Location: Webinar Only
Henry Day, Water Policy and Strategy Consultant, Arizona Public Service Company
Since its inception in 1884, originally as Phoenix Light and Fuel Company, Arizona Public Service Company (APS), the largest electric utility in Arizona, has generated clean, reliable, and affordable energy from nine power plants, now serving 2.7 million Arizonans. APS has long been recognized as a leader in water reuse, as demonstrated by its use of reclaimed water as cooling water for Palo Verde Generating Station, the largest producer of power in the United States for the last 25 years. Recognizing the value of water to power generation in an increasingly water-challenged environment, APS created a Water Resource Management Department in 2009. This department focused primarily on water acquisition, contracts, and agreements in direct support of power plant generation, but also developed water conservation practices and strategies to be employed across Arizona and New Mexico. In 2020, APS took another step forward with creation of the Sustainability Department with a broader mission to direct the company's water planning and policy efforts and engage with other stakeholders to ensure Arizona's water supplies are preserved for future generations.

Upcoming WRRC Events

Richard N. Morrison, Retired Attorney; Co-Founder of the Morrison Institute of
Public Policy
Colorado River Basin Webinar Panel Calls
for Cooperation

On Wednesday evening, September 22, the Arizona Institutes for Resilience, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, and WRRC hosted Episode 4 of the six-part series, Water Solutions for Our Warmer World. The WRRC Director, Sharon B. Megdal, moderated a remarkable panel on “Drought in the Colorado River Basin.” The program highlighted the complex and multifaceted nature of Colorado River issues. Before the panel discussion, Leslie Meyers, Phoenix Area Office Area Manager for the US Bureau of Reclamation, set the stage with a grim reminder of current and projected near-future river conditions. Although she characterized herself as an optimist, she could not avoid sharing the bad news of low flows, low reservoir levels, and shortages. Taking the discussion from there were five panelists from across the basin: Amelia Flores, Chairwoman, Colorado River Indian Tribal Council; Gloria Gray, Chairwoman, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Terry Goddard, Board President, Central Arizona Water Conservation District; Paul Bruchez, Agricultural Representative, Colorado River Basin Roundtable and Member, Interbasin Compact Committee; and Taylor Hawes, Colorado River Program Director, The Nature Conservancy. After each panel member had offered brief remarks, Dr. Megdal asked as many questions from the virtual audience as time permitted. Key takeaways from the webinar emphasized the urgent need for cooperative and collaborative action. Now is the time for innovative problem solving and consensus, not taking hard positions and pointing fingers, because “we are all in this together.” The webinar will be available online next week.

Image: Lake Mead by Ricardo Frantz, 2018

Haury Program Honors Three Diné Leaders

On September 25, the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice (Haury Program) awarded Nikki Tulley, Dr. Crystal Tulley-Cordova, and Dr. Karletta Chief with 2021 Haury Program Tribal Resilience Leadership Awards. In May 2020, the Haury Program launched the Tribal Resilience Initiative with three goals: to support the water sustainability goals of the Navajo Nation and Indian Country; to elevate the priorities of Indigenous communities and promote collaboration between Native Nations and institutions engaging in education, research, outreach, and other efforts focused on Indigenous issues; and to strengthen Native American and Indigenous student, faculty, and staff pathways at UArizona. A key partnership in this effort has been with the Navajo Nation to support the Water Access Coordination Group (WACG) in the Navajo Safe Water Project, itself a partnership between Indian Health Services, Navajo Nation Division of Community Development, and the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources.

Passing the Torch

The Olympic flame is said to symbolize the light of spirit, knowledge, and life. The passing of the torch from runner to runner, acknowledges collective human achievements as they move from community to community, spreading goodwill to all. 

Light is also a universal symbol of wisdom, revealing lessons learned from trying experiences and powerful inspiration from within. Kerry Schwartz has been that light for many. Her relentless pursuit of inspiring young minds and molding the next generation of water stewards is unparalleled. Her insights reshaped Arizona Project WET from its original train-the-trainer format to a fresh approach, not only educating teachers but students and community members as well. She, and the team she built, are responsible for bringing water-wise education to literally hundreds of thousands of Arizonans and others around the country.

A Meeting of Sacred Waters

Red Star International Inc., in partnership with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and the Te Pou Tupua (the Tribally designated face and voice of the Whanganui River) of Aotearoa, New Zealand, will be hosting A Meeting of Sacred Waters (translated from Te Huinga Wai Tapu in Māori) on November 18, 2021. Red Star International, Inc. is an Indigenous-led nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting communities to expand mindsets and evolve practices to realize a collective vision of health and wellness. This one-day virtual event will provide space for sharing Indigenous worldviews, values, and perspectives to reclaim the health of the world’s rivers. The program will feature a keynote from United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, José Francisco Calí Tzay, and a world premiere screening of the film From the Mountains to the Sea, a 2021 American Indian Film Festival selection, followed by a panel discussion featuring film participants. As an opportunity to join their network, Red Star International invites Indigenous nations, organizations, and communities to submit proposals to co-create a space to share ideas and spark innovation during the event. Proposal submissions are due at end of day on Friday, October 8. All who envision a sustainable future are welcome to join the virtual global gathering, for which registration is free.

The UArizona Water Resources Research Center is seeking a student with interest and experience in writing about water and/or environmental topics to assist with outreach communication. Applicants are encouraged to visit the WRRC website for more information on WRRC programs and activities. Interested students should send a statement of interest, writing sample, and resume including the names and contact information of two references to Michael Seronde at
Accepting applications until the position is filled.

Please visit WRRC's website for a complete listing of water jobs & opportunities.
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