The Colorado River Basin’s water and energy problems are well chronicled in studies and news reports. With the Colorado River’s low flows extending more than two decades and drawdown of water from Lakes Powell and Mead, water in storage is at historic lows.
Sweetwater Wetlands. Photo: Sharon B. Megdal
A new commentary series, Reflections, by Director Sharon B. Megdal is replacing her previous Public Policy Review. Beginning with the March-April 2002 issue of the Arizona Water Resource newsletter, through its final issue in Fall 2018, Director Sharon B. Megdal penned 76 public policy columns focusing on a wide range of water topics. Reflections will be published several times a year through the Weekly Wave and they will appear on this page.
A complete collection of Dr. Megdal’s AWR columns, many of which remain relevant today, is accessible for viewing or download.
Reflections: Partnering to Address Food, Water, and Energy Security
Reflections: Connecting Globally at Stockholm World Water Week
Stockholm World Water Week (WWW) is a highly regarded international conference, well known for bringing together diverse water experts from different parts of the world.
Reflections: The Colorado River Is Not Waiting
The week of August 15 was full of news about the Colorado River. As announced by US Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton in mid-June, Monday, August 15, was the deadline for the seven basin states to submit their proposal(s) for accomplishing the targeted two-to-four million acre feet of additional basin-wide cutbacks.
Reflections: On Key Themes from the WRRC's 20th Annual Conference
The Water Resources Research Center’s annual conference, Arizona’s Agricultural Outlook: Water, Climate, and Sustainability, was held July 12–14, 2022. This conference marked the 20th anniversary of our signature event, which is designed to share up-to-date information and insights on a water topic of importance to Arizona and the region.
Reflections: Energized by Highly Engaged Students
This Spring Semester I once again taught my graduate class, Water Policy in Arizona and Semi-arid Regions. Like last year, I had a good-sized seminar class, with 18 students, including two auditors. Unlike last year, we met in person, with virtual participation available for any student who could not attend class and for some guest speakers.
Reflections: Commemorating World Water Day 2022, Part II
Reflections: Commemorating World Water Day 2022, Part I
On World Water Day, 2019, I published my first Reflections essay. The United Nations established March 22 as World Water Day in 1993 to raise awareness of global water challenges, including lack of access to water and sanitation.
Reflections: Looking Back 20 Years and a Call to Action
February 14 is an important date for me – and not only because it is Valentine’s Day and Arizona Statehood Day. February 14 is also the anniversary date of my joining the Water Resources Research Center and Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty.
Reflections: On Connecting Land Planning and Water Planning
Land planners and water planners often work in separate silos. Though all recognize that different land uses have different water requirements, land use decision-making may not be tightly connected to water resource planning.
Reflections: Water, Recharge, and Life
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR), the term commonly used for the practice of storing water underground, often for later recovery or use, is a widely deployed water management tool.
Reflections: On the Meaning of Indigenous Water Resilience
Prior to the WRRC’s 2021 Annual Conference, Tribal Water Resilience in a Changing Environment, I penned an essay entitled “On the Meaning of Water Resilience.”
Reflections: Adapting to a Drier Future
On August 16, 2021, the United States Bureau of Reclamation announced a Tier 1 Shortage to go into effect on January 1, 2022. This declaration of cutbacks in water deliveries was in accordance with established Colorado River operating criteria. Local, national, and international media have been covering the poor health of the Colorado River system for some time, with the shortage declaration bringing media interest to a crescendo.
Reflections: On the Meaning of Water Resilience
Resilience seems to have replaced security in discussions of water availability. Because the term was appearing everywhere, I started thinking about the definition of resilience even before we titled the WRRC 2021 Annual Conference
Reflections: Returning to the (Virtual) Classroom
Each Spring Semester I teach a graduate class, Water Policy in Arizona and Semi-arid Regions. This year marked my return to teaching after a one-year hiatus due to my 2020 sabbatical.
Reflections: On April 4, Easter, and the Earthquake
In 2021, the Easter holiday once again fell on April 4, which happens to be my birthday. This coincidence previously happened in 1999 and 2010. For different reasons, I think back to both. In 1999, Tucson, Arizona experienced snow on Easter morning.
Reflexiones: abril 4, domingo de Pascua y el terremoto
En 2021, el domingo de Pascua coincidió nuevamente con el día 4 de abril, que por cierto es día de mi cumpleaños. Esta coincidencia también había sucedido en 1999 y 2010. Por distintas razones, recuerdo ambas.
Reflections: A Reexamination of Past Water Wishes
Prior to beginning my series of Reflections essays, I published a column in each issue of the now-discontinued WRRC Arizona Water Resource newsletter.
End of 2020 Reflections
It is that season when we look back at the year about to end and ahead toward the coming year. What does one say at the end of this COVID-19 pandemic year? The pandemic changed things in ways we never could have imagined. We had to minimize or eliminate in-person interactions. Dislocation was experienced everywhere, including in the educational realm. Our lives were profoundly affected.