2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

Using Recharge and Recovery to Meet Water Management Objectives in Arizona

Wednesday, April 27, 2016: 3:10 p.m.
Confluence Ballroom B (The Westin Denver Downtown)
Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D. , Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Central Arizona water suppliers and users utilize Arizona’s well-designed statutory framework for water storage and recovery to meet water management objectives.  Water banking, other long-term water storage, annual storage and recovery, and groundwater replenishment programs continue to be important vehicles for (1) preparing for future Colorado River shortage conditions, (2) providing a mechanism for meeting 100-year assured water supply requirements, and (3) offering an alternative or supplemental approach to treating surface water and effluent.  The presentation will provide an overview of Arizona groundwater storage and how integral these storage and recovery programs are for meeting Arizona’s water management objectives.  The focus will be on the region served by the Central Arizona Project (CAP), a large constructed project that conveys Colorado River water to Arizona’s metropolitan areas, such as Phoenix and Tucson.  The CAP will experience significant water supply curtailment when a Colorado River shortage is declared by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.   The presentation will discuss achievements realized during the 20 years since passage of the Underground Water Storage Act, as well as the challenges associated with groundwater use in Central Arizona.

Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D., Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Sharon B. Megdal is Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), an Extension and research unit in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her work focuses on water policy and water resources management challenges and solutions, on which she writes and frequently speaks. She also holds the titles Professor and Specialist, Department Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor, and Distinguished Outreach Professor. Dr. Megdal, whose geographic scope of work ranges from local to international, places particular emphasis on how to achieve desired policy objectives in terms of institutional structures and possible changes to them. In November 2014, Dr. Megdal was elected to a second six-year term on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors, where she is responsible for the policies, rates and taxes associated with delivering Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University.