Upcoming WRRC-Sponsored Events

WSP Distinguished Speaker Series: Brian Richter

Date: Thursday, March 5, 2015
Time: 4:30–5:00 pm — refreshments and book signing; 5:00–5:45 pm —lecture followed by Q&A
Location: UA Student Unions’ Tucson and Catalina Rooms

The Water Sustainability Program will host a lecture and book signing by international water expert Brian Richter, author of Chasing Water: A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability. Richter’s book tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed.

Brian Richter has been a global leader in river science and conservation for more than 25 years. He acts as Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy Global Water Program, where he promotes sustainable water use and management with governments, corporations and local communities.

Tucson Water Recycled Water Program

Date: Monday, March 9, 2015
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: WRRC Sol Resnick Conference Room (350 N. Campbell Ave.)

Speakers: Jeff Biggs, Tucson Water Interim Deputy Director; Fernando Molina, Tucson Water Public Information Officer; Wally Wilson, Tucson Water Chief Hydrologist

Tucson Water is a Department of the City of Tucson, serving water to approximately 75% of the regional population. Water reliability for the community is the ultimate goal of the utility. In addition to providing daily water service to customers, water reliability means that Tucson Water must:

  • Also plan for long term water supplies
  • Ensure that water quality goals for various uses are met
  • Manage and maintain all infrastructure required to manage water resources and deliver water supplies
  • Ensure the efficient use of water
  • Meet all customer needs, including keeping water affordable

The Recycled Water Master Plan (RWMP) was released in December 2013. The RWMP examines the existing reclaimed water system and provides recommendations for investments needed to ensure existing customers can continue to be served in an effective manner. The second element of the RWMP provides guidance on how currently unused effluent can be used to supplement future drinking water supplies. Purification of treated wastewater is being used around the world as a drinking water source, and the RWMP provides guidance on how Tucson Water can work to include Indirect Potable Reuse as a means of meeting future water demands.

Jeff Biggs is currently serving as Acting Deputy Director of Tucson Water. He has also served as Director, Water Quality and Operations Administrator for Tucson with many years of experience working in water treatment facilities.

Fernando Molina currently serves as Public Information Officer for Tucson Water. He has also served as Water Conservation Manger for Tucson Water, and worked with the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Wally Wilson has 25 years of experience in water remedial and resource investigations in a half dozen states in the western US. He received a BS in Geology from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX. Mr. Wilson is currently the Chief Hydrologist leading the Water Resources Management Section for Tucson Water. This utility section is responsible for managing the City’s water portfolio of CAP, Recycled water and Groundwater. Wally and his section of hydrologists are also responsible for the feasibility investigations, permitting, design and operations-optimization of Tucson Water’s six recharge facilities.

The Surprising Slide in Domestic Demand: Be Careful What You Wish For

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: WRRC Sol Resnick Conference Room (350 N. Campbell Ave.)

Speaker: Gary C. Woodard, JD, MPP, Senior Water Policy and Economics Consultant, Montgomery & Associates

The impacts on western water supplies of prolonged drought, scant snow packs, receding reservoirs, and overdrafted aquifers are well-documented. By contrast, wide-spread, long-term declines in water demand have been a well-kept secret. The USGS recently released Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2010. The report documents how between 1980 and 2010, we managed to support 85 million more people and a growing economy while reducing water use by 57 billion gallons per day. The declines are both wide and deep, occurring in municipal, industrial, agricultural, and power sectors, across the U.S.

This presentation focuses on municipal demand in the Southwest. Declines are nearly universal, and occur in both indoor and outdoor demand. Often, per-capita declines have exceeded population growth, resulting in utilities delivering less water to more people. Factors driving down indoor demand include efficiency standards for appliances and fixtures. Outdoor demand has also dropped, reflecting the declining appeal of turf and backyard pools and a growing interest in sustainability. Shifting household demographics also are impacting demand, in complex ways. Water demand is no longer tightly tied to population, economic output, or quality of life, and the downward trends are expected to continue through the end of the decade.

Many water professionals who were planning how to meet expected growing water demands have been surprised, perplexed, and even challenged by declines in demand. A number of issues have arisen, including fiscal consequences, operational issues, planning challenges and public perception issues. The presentation concludes with thoughts on how this came to be, and how we might better plan to meet future municipal water needs.

Gary Woodard has addressed water resources issues as both an academic and a consultant for over 30 years. At the University of Arizona, he has brought a wide array of analytical skills to bear on a range of water policy issues. Gary has won several awards for creative outreach efforts, including a degree program for mid-career water professionals and citizen science programs. He also has chaired a water district, served as an elected official, founded a water conservation alliance, and is a past president of UCOWR. Woodard’s work with two NESCO water centers has taken him to arid lands across the Middle East and North Africa. He also helped draft Saudi Arabia’s new National Water Act. As a consultant with Montgomery & Associates, he models water demand, evaluates utility assets, forecasts trends, and assesses conservation programs.

A New Paradigm: Electric Utilities Investing In Water Conservation

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015
Time: 12:00 – 1:15 pm
Location: WRRC Sol Resnick Conference Room (350 N. Campbell Ave.)
Speaker: Lon W. House, Ph.D., Water and Energy Consulting

The energy embedded in water may be a new source of energy savings for electric utilities. California has embarked on a program to assess energy savings associated with electric utilities investing in water conservation and develop water savings programs as part of utility energy efficiency portfolios. This presentation will discuss the status of these efforts, lesson learned, and provide some observations and recommendations on developing similar efforts elsewhere.

Lon W. House, Ph.D., is the owner of Water & Energy Consulting, with offices in California and Arizona. He is an energy consultant for the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Rural Water Association, and a consultant on water-energy for the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission.

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