IN THIS ISSUE: UNESCO, Brown Bag Recap, NIWR, APW, Andrea Gerlak
World Water Day Special Webinar
Managing Aquifer Recharge: A Showcase for Resilience and Sustainability
Celebrate World Water Day on Monday afternoon, March 22, when the WRRC hosts an informative panel discussion on the forthcoming UNESCO volume, “Managing Aquifer Recharge: A Showcase for Resilience and Sustainability.” This UNESCO publication provides valuable resources for stakeholders and water managers considering managed aquifer recharge (MAR) as a mechanism to bolster climate resilience in the context of environmental, social, and economic project goals. The webinar will be held from 3:30-5:00 pm MST and will highlight exemplary cases of MAR implementation worldwide. The panel includes lead editor Yan Zheng, Chair Professor at the University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, along with authors of the five North American cases included in the book — the states of Arizona, California, Nebraska, and South Carolina in the US, and the state of Sonora, Mexico. In addition, book co-editor Peter Dillon of Australia will participate in the discussion.

Brown Bag: Arizona's Groundwater Management: Past, Present and Future

Date: Monday, Mar 8, 2021
Time: 12:00-1:15 pm MST
Location: Webinar Only
Susanna Eden, PhD, Research Program Officer, Water Resources Research Center, UArizona

Brian McGreal, MS Student, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UArizona

Arizona's landmark Groundwater Management Act turned 40 last year and the WRRC marked the occasion by focusing the 2020 annual conference on the legacy of the Act, current groundwater challenges, and potential future pathways. Building on this foundation, the authors of the 2021 Arroyo developed a comprehensive overview of groundwater management in Arizona that looks back over 40 years and ahead toward 2060 and beyond. The presentation will highlight key sections of the Arroyo as reference points for discussion.

Upcoming Webinars

Mar 11: Community Service and Environmental Justice as Essential Best Practices For the Clean Water Utility of the Future
Andrew Kricun, Managing Director, Moonshot Missions; Senior Fellow, US Water Alliance
Mar 31: The Internet of Water: Partnerships for Progress—Modernizing Water Data to Meet 21st Century Needs
Peter Colohan, Executive Director, Internet of Water, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

Apr 8: Binational Study of Water Desalination Opportunities in the Sea of Cortez
Chuck Cullom, Colorado River Programs Manager, Central Arizona Project
Lela Perkins, Senior Water Resources Engineer, Jacobs Engineering Group

Apr 14: Update from Tucson Water on Reuse Projects
John Kmiec, Interim Director, Tucson Water
23rd Annual Law of the Colorado River Conference: Preparing for Renewed River Management Plans

The 23rd Annual Law of the Colorado River Conference has a new virtual format! A diverse faculty will discuss many important topics on the conservation and management of the Colorado River during the two-day virtual conference, March 11-12, 2021.

Photo: Canoes on Lake Powell, Gilles Boyer, 2019
Phoenix AMA's Progress toward Safe-Yield
On Tuesday, February 15, the WRRC hosted Jessica Fox from the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA) for an engaging Brown Bag webinar. Fox presented, “Reaching Safe-Yield in the Phoenix AMA,” highlighting recent work to assess the AMA's progress toward meeting its long-term management goals. According to Arizona Revised Statutes, the term “safe-yield” is defined as “a groundwater management goal which attempts to achieve and thereafter maintain a long-term balance between the annual amount of groundwater withdrawn in an active management area and the annual amount of natural and artificial recharge in the active management area.” AMWUA’s analysis shows that from 1985 to 2017, the Phoenix AMA has not achieved its long-term management goal due to many years of overdrafts. Fox also described some of the challenges to achieving safe-yield. For example, groundwater use exemptions place the burden of replenishment (and progress toward meeting the management goals) on new groundwater users within the AMA. Fox concluded her presentation by encouraging stakeholders to remain engaged in the state-led discussions of safe-yield and other possible management goals.

WRRC Represents Arizona at Virtual
NIWR Meeting
WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal and Program Manager Michael Seronde attended the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) annual meeting, held via Zoom February 8-10. NIWR is the association of federally authorized Water Resources Research Institutes in the US, with one located in each state, one in the District of Colombia (DC), and three US Territories. NIWR members play a major role in supporting the unique water-related concerns of individual states, along with those of the nation, by providing a national platform for research, information transfer, and collaboration. At the annual meeting, institute directors and staff came together to build relationships, share successes, discuss challenges, and coordinate actions related to their federal role. Director Megdal participated in a panel that discussed efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in institute and center programming. While institute directors missed the opportunity to network in person in DC, this year’s virtual format enabled greater participation of staff.
Mt. Lemmon Fires in Kids' Living Rooms — without Flames!

Tucson second graders are learning how forest fires, flooding, and erosion are all part of an interconnected system through Arizona Project WET’s virtual Forests, Fires, and Floods presentation. In second grade, Arizona State Science standards focus on how wind and water can change the shape of the land and the positive and negative changes to water and land that are caused by humans. Last summer's Bighorn Fires provided a unique opportunity to instruct how big landscape changes in one part of the watershed can impact the rest of the community. This February and March, all second graders in Flowing Wells Unified School District are getting the chance to experiment with simple models (pans of soil) to explore how water moves soil without plants holding it together. Students will use their models to design simple solutions, such as stormwater basins that slow water down and enable it to soak into the soil to be used by plants.

Collaborative GSI Research Awarded Funding

Over the years, the City of Tucson’s leadership in Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) has brought national attention to our region. GSI is the primary tool used to slow and distribute stormwater so that it benefits our community through urban greening, watering trees, and supporting rain gardens and urban parks. In 2019, the City of Tucson approved a new GSI Fund for the construction and maintenance of GSI features, but a key limitation to using these funds is the lack of a GSI maintenance protocol to integrate city-wide efforts. Dr. Andrea K. Gerlak, Professor in the Department of Geography and Development, and Associate Director at the Udall Center at UArizona, along with partners that include the City of Tucson and Pima County Cooperative Extension, have recently secured funding through UArizona’s Arizona Institutes for Resilience (AIR) to evaluate the issue of GSI maintenance and to develop and disseminate workable protocols to ensure consistent management. After facilitating a collaborative dialogue process in which to craft GSI maintenance protocols, community trainings will be conducted and protocols will be put to the test through implementation. It is exciting to see a robust effort moving forward to address this consequential topic. Stay tuned for future Weekly Wave stories highlighting other research proposals that were awarded AIR Resilience Grant funding.


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