UA Conference to Focus on Closing Water Supply Gap in Arizona

The conference will explore the state's options for meeting current and future water needs.
April 4, 2014

By the year 2060, the demand for water in Arizona may exceed renewable supplies by a significant margin.

The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center – a unit within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – will tackle this issue before a near-capacity crowd at its annual conference, "Closing the Gap Between Water Supply and Demand," happening Tuesday at the UA Student Union Memorial Center.

"The hottest topic in water today is the question, 'How can we close the gap?'" said the center's director, Sharon B. Megdal. "Our conference will help provide answers by bringing people together who can share real-time information and discuss potential water supply solutions. Experts will engage with our audience to identify feasible options for Arizona."

The center partnered with the Arizona Department of Water Resources to organize the conference, which will explore Arizona's options for meeting current and future water needs, including water supply sustainability, conservation, reuse and recycling, tribal water, policy options and much more.

Conference Highlights:

  • The Arizona Department of Water Resources' Strategic Vision for Arizona Water Supply Sustainability: Opening keynote speaker Michael Lacey (Director, ADWR) will address the department's recently released strategic vision for securing future water supplies in Arizona.   
  • Water Demand in Basin States Threatens to Exceed Supply: The Colorado River Basin Study recently found that water demand in Basin States is expected to exceed supply by some 3.2 million acre-feet by the year 2060 if no action is taken. Keynote speaker Kay Brothers will address the findings of the study's next steps working group, tasked with identifying possible solutions.
  • Innovative Management Can Help Arizona be Drought Resistant: Expert panelists will examine Arizona's water management challenges and discuss possible solutions – including answering the question, "Closing the Gap: How Can We Do It?'
  • Water Issues Affect Us All: Solutions to water challenges must consider a wide array of stakeholders, including agriculture, tribes, municipalities, nature and industry. These perspectives and others will be represented in the panel sessions at the conference.
  • Celebrate 50 Years of Arizona Water Research, Education and Outreach: The center will commemorate its 50th anniversary during the poster session following lunch.  

The conference runs from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday at the UA Student Union Memorial Center. Explore the full agenda here.