UA's Megdal Elected President of National Institute

May 6, 2013

Sharon B. Megdal, director of the UA Water Resources Research Center, WRRC, has been elected president of the National Institutes for Water Resources, NIWR. 

Effective in October, Megdal will serve as president-elect for a one-year term, after which she will serve as president for a year.

"It is an honor to represent the Arizona WRRC at NIWR," said Megdal, whose duties as president-elect include planning and presiding over the organization's 2014 annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

"This is a great opportunity to work in a leadership role within an important network of water research and information transfer centers across the country," Megdal said. "Our work helps build an understanding of real-world water challenges while developing solutions to them."

Megdal is the C.W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and also holds the titles Distinguished Outreach Professor and professor in the department of soil, water and environmental science.

NIWR is a national organization of Water Resources Research Institutes established under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.

Its 54 member institutes – one located in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam – work closely with the U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, and other partners to carry out their mission of objective research and communication of information on issues relating to the nation's water supplies.

NIWR provides a national platform for researching efficient and responsible water resource management and water quality, infrastructure, technology and policy. The member institutes also provide scientific and engineering education opportunities to help create a skilled workforce able to create and maintain sustainable management of water resources.

"I look forward to working with my NIWR colleagues, the USGS and others as I assume the responsibilities of president-elect,” Megdal said. "Our nation is facing critical water challenges that NIWR will play a key role in addressing. We will be considering all aspects of emerging and long-term problems within our water systems, including institutional and technological issues, which calls for an understanding of local cultures, physical conditions and regional socioeconomics."

Megdal sits on NIWR's board and has served as a member since 2004, when she was named director of the UA's WRRC. She has also been elected to the Board of Directors for the Universities Council on Water Resources and serves on the Board of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District.

Her current water resource projects emphasize achieving water policy goals within institutional structures and include: comparative evaluation of water management, policy and governance in water-scarce regions; meeting the water needs of the environment; groundwater management; water pricing; and transboundary aquifer assessment. She holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.

The WRRC is a unit within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and promotes understanding of critical state and regional water management and policy issues through research, community outreach and public education.

Contact: Jessica Schlievert, WRRC Communications Specialist: 520-621-1472;