IN THIS ISSUE: CWAC Change, UArizona Adaptation Center, APW-CatCorps Unite!, Colorado River Water Transfer, IWRA Mentoring Initiative
WRRC 2020 Photo Contest -
Arizona & Arid Zones
The WRRC photo contest is back, and we are excited to see what our contestants will bring to the table this year. As with the last few photo contests we’ve held, the main criteria are that the photos be taken in Arizona and feature water. This year, however, we have added a special category* for photographs of water taken in arid regions outside our state. We want to see water in cities and towns, water in nature, water and people, water and industry, water and anything that sparks your imagination. So what are you waiting for? Show us what you’ve got. We look forward to seeing your unique and amazing photos!

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 – Balancing Water for People and Nature: The Upper San Pedro River
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 Research Scientist Completes 8 Years of Service on Tucson’s CWAC

At the September 2 meeting of the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee (CWAC), WRRC Research Scientist Jean McLain was recognized for her 8 years of service. Dr. McLain began her committee service in 2012 and will be stepping down from CWAC, having now completed two 4-year terms (the second term as Chair and/or Vice-Chair). While a member of CWAC, McLain was also an active member of the subcommittee covering Environmental Programs and Education. CWAC, representing all Tucson Water customers, was established in 1977 to advise the City of Tucson Mayor and Council regarding water system planning, water resource planning, and water rates and fees. The committee also advises Tucson Water on development of new programs to enhance citizen understanding of water sustainability and small grants programs for community enhancement projects.
UArizona Adaptation Center Contributes to Science and Management Solutions for the Colorado River 

Working with an array of stakeholders in the Colorado River Basin to help re-envision the management of the River, the Colorado River Conversations have led to new relationships between the environmental community, states, Tribes, and water managers. The UArizona team, led by the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS), a component of the recently formed Arizona Institutes for Resilience, recently hosted a series of scenario planning events focused on how the intersection of extreme climate, economic, and other events might affect the River. The team is also developing a guidance document on how climate change might affect the magnitude and frequency of future extreme events. The scenario planning project is the culmination of three years of workshops and events focused on integrating the latest social and physical science into management decisions for the Colorado. The CCASS team, which is led by Kathy Jacobs, includes Andrea Gerlak, Amanda Leinberger, and graduate student Anna Murveit in partnership with Martin & McCoy, (Season Martin and Amy McCoy). The scenario planning activities were funded by the Walton Family Foundation; the recently released summary can be found here.

Phoenix and Tucson CatCorps Unite!

Every school year, APW brings aboard members of the UArizona Wildcat Corps AmeriCorps program for a year of service to help deliver water education programs in our community. Although this year is different in so many ways, we are again excited to invite 8 AmeriCorps members to join us in developing and delivering innovative water education to our community. These brave individuals have signed on to what is sure to be a fast-paced, ever-changing year of service, when we will all be trying new things, moving from digital learning to (we hope) classroom facilitation in a new environment where social distancing is required. This intrepid group brings skills in technology, digital media, education, and environmental science, along with a great deal of passion for serving others, caring for the environment, and having a positive impact on their communities. A big Wildcat welcome to: Sky, Rachael, Gunner, Robert, Noah, Joji, Mayda, and Clayton. It’s sure to be a wild ride!

State Hurdle Crossed for Colorado River Water Transfer

A planned water sale of Colorado River water to the Phoenix suburb of Queen Creek from GSC Farm LLC received qualified approval from the Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Queen Creek agreed to make a one-time payment of $21 million for an annual entitlement of roughly 2,100 acre-feet of water. After reviewing hundreds of comments, the Director recommended allowing a smaller transfer of about half of the planned amount. There is opposition from Colorado River communities to the plan, which would require federal approval.

New IWRA Mentoring Initiative Selects WRRC Graduate Assistant

In 2020, the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) inaugurated a pioneering mentorship initiative aimed at early-career water scholars and professionals. The initiative’s intent was to pair a select cadre of outstanding and promising individuals with mentoring by senior professionals. Each mentee, with the help of a mentor, will develop a paper for publication in a special issue of IWRA’s flagship journal, Water International. The effort, chaired by Robert Varady of UArizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, sought applicants from across the globe and received proposals for papers from 43 female and 17 male applicants from 32 countries. Of the 60 applicants, 36 were from developing countries. A 7-person committee reviewed the submissions and selected 11 applicants (8 women), pairing each with a senior mentor. WRRC Graduate Assistant Mary Belle Cruz-Ayala was among the few selected. She is a PhD student in Arid Lands Resource Sciences focusing on groundwater governance. Her mentor, Dr. Cecilia Tortajada, is an internationally known scholar, originally from Mexico, and now Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. A past President of the IWRA (2007-2009), Tortajada is Associate Editor of Water International