May 1, 2020 / Volume 8, Issue 17
The Water Resource Research Center - a research unit of the  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an Extension unit in  UA Cooperative Extension  within the Division of   Agriculture,  Life & Veterinary Sciences & Cooperative Extension
WRRC Office Update

Although the WRRC building will be closed to the public until further notice, our staff continue to work and engage as much as possible. You can reach us via email as listed on our Directory. We wish you all the best - Stay safe and healthy!

UArizona Cooperative Extension COVID-19 info page   
WRRC COVID-19 Articles
In this issue:  Corrosion Crisis  /  Supreme Court APW / Pets
WRRC Annual Conference Goes Virtual
The WRRC Annual Conference,  Water at the Crossroads: The Next 40 Years , has been transformed into a virtual event.  Join us  June 18 and 19, 2020 for a program of notable speakers, in-depth panel discussions, audience Q & A, and more. 

The original conference agenda has been modified for the virtual environment with half-day blocks scheduled over two days. We already have confirmations from many of our speakers, including keynote speaker former Governor and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt
  • The conference starts at 1 pm on Thursday, June 18 with a 31/2-hour program that segues into an hour of concurrent options for virtual "Happy Hour Networking." 
  • On Friday, panels and presentations resume from 8 am - 12:30 pm. 

Join us from the comfort of your home as we look back at the last 40 years of Arizona water management and forward to the next 40 years. 

Brown Bag Webinar Only Developing Pathways to Solutions to Wicked Water Problems

May 6, 2020 / 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Presenter:  Sharon B. Megdal , Director, University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center

Location: Webinar

Many regions across the globe face what are called wicked water problems, which are complex challenges that are too big for readily identifiable and/or "standard" solutions. The reasons for this are many and can relate to underlying societal or political issues and differing viewpoints as to the causes and/or potential pathways to mitigating the challenges. It is often stated that the obstacles to addressing wicked water problems may be related to public acceptance rather than technological or economic factors. Identifying and implementing pathways to solving big water challenges often require interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches; the involvement of stakeholders is extremely important. This seminar will focus on the similar but distinct wicked water issues faced in our region and the Middle East and approaches taken to solve them.

corrosionA Corrosion Crisis Story Featured in WRRC Brown Bag
On Wednesday, April 29, the WRRC hosted Marie Pearthree for a Brown Bag Webinar to discuss her new book, Tucson Water Turnaround: Crisis to Success. The presentation provided an overview of Tucson Water's conversion from delivering groundwater to Colorado River water provided by the Central Arizona Project, which led to widespread corrosion issues in the early 1990s. Pearthree's excellent presentation revealed the extensive research she and her co-author Mike McGuire conducted in writing their book, which paints a picture of how Tucson Water managed the organizational, chemical, and infrastructure challenges it faced. The webinar concluded with lessons learned from a true turnaround story. For the full story, rich with context, T ucson Water Turnaround: Crisis to Success is available from the American Water Works Association.

supremeUS Supreme Court Recognizes GW-SW Link in CWA

It is axiomatic that US law distinguishes between groundwater and surface water despite their obvious connection. The Clean Water Act, for example, requires a permit for wastewater treatment plants to discharge pollutants into "navigable surface waters." On April 23, however, the US Supreme Court chipped away at the distinction by ruling that some discharges to groundwater may be considered "functionally equivalent" to direct discharge into navigable waters. The 6 to 3 decision in a case out of Hawaii took a middle road between extreme arguments. It returned the case to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco with a new definition of discharges to groundwater subject to Clean Water Act permitting requirements that is narrower than the definition used by the lower court.  Maui County, which operates the treatment plant, had argued that the law never applied to discharges into groundwater, a view reflected in current EPA policy. This absolute distinction was rejected.

Read the full decision
Drippy was created and illustrated by Program Coordinator Miriam Aleman then refined by AmeriCorps member Raul Bustamante
apw The Forming of Drippy
To strengthen water conservation outreach, the EPA created the Water Sense - A Day in the Life of a Drop - campaign and Arizona Project WET (APW) has brought the Drop to Life. Out of the passion for continuing to bring meaningful, playful, and strong educational content virtually to our community of learners, APW created a new character mascot. Meet Drippy! Drippy will guide learners through a Water Scene Investigation, searching for clues to improve water efficiency in our homes.

In the past month, the APW team evolved their skills to become project managers, website designers, game developers, video editors, print media specialists, social media gurus, marketing professionals, and even illustrators as we roll out new, innovative programming. Follow this first clue to start your own Water Scene Investigation!

coworkersCoworker(s) of 
the Week

This week's coworker(s) share a workspace with WRRC A ssociate Director Claire Zucker Meet Lab/Boxer/Pitbull mix Chloe and Blue Pitbull Mica. They enjoy  lounging the day away while eavesdropping on Claire's myriad Zoom meetings, sleepy cuddles, and eating . . . they really love eating. So if you want some face-time with these two pooches, you better bring a whole lot of kibble to the table.  Chloe and Mica remind us that while there is no "I" in team, sometimes there are two Pitbulls.