Registration for the 2022 WRRC Annual Conference is now open! This year’s conference, Arizona’s Agricultural Outlook: Water, Climate, and Sustainability, will take place over three days, July 12-14. Day One will be held in person at the University of Arizona Student Union on Tuesday, July 12 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Arizona time. Two mornings of virtual programming, 9:00 am to noon, will follow the in-person event.
Brown Bag Webinar: The Case for Better Planning
Richard N. Morrison, Retired Attorney; Co-Founder of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy
On Tuesday, October 26, the WRRC held The Case for Better Planning, a Brown Bag webinar featuring Richard N. Morrison, a retired attorney and co-founder of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Morrison makes the case that in the water world, so-called “black swan” events, or unpredictable events that have disproportional consequences, should actually be considered “grey swans.” Using a mix of personal anecdotes and knowledge acquired throughout his career, Morrison explains how some “black swan” events were not wholly unexpected and could have been predicted; the moral of the story being that we can always do a better job of planning, and we should endeavor to do so. Morrison underscored his presentation with what he described as the subtitle to his presentation: “Examine your assumptions when you undertake a long-range plan. Make sure your assumptions are defensible.” In his presentation, Morrison provided two examples of “grey swan” events in detail: the current debate over state funding to rehabilitate Pinal County wells, and studies from the 1990s predicting that Central Arizona Project water would not be economically viable for Arizona farmers. After sharing his first example, Morrison answered many questions from the audience, expanding upon and adding context for his example. Following his second example, WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal continued a moderated discussion with the audience.
Richard Morrison’s community service and philanthropy exemplifies civic leadership in Arizona. He is a retired Naval aviator, water law attorney, Episcopal priest, agricultural businessman, and civic leader who currently serves as a director of the Arizona Community Foundation and as an adviser to six academic colleges or units at Arizona State University. He served for several years as an external advisory board member at the Water Resources Research Center. He most recently founded the NAU Institute for Public and Professional Ethics in Leadership.