I have been a bit lax in posting lately for a number of reasons. Number one of which is the fact that I recently took a job working for the Tohono O'Odham Nation, a local Native American Tribe in Southern Arizona. My official title is "hydrologist" but I will likely be engaged in work that I like to refer to as "water resource specialist." The job involves a little bit of everything that might fall under the rubric of hydrology - surface water, groundwater, water rights, and water quality. With the commute out to the seat of tribal government in Sells I have pretty long days, which cuts into some of my extra-curricular activities.
Fortunately I plan to maintain some of my local activities related to water, including attending the monthly City of Tucson/Pima County Joint Water/Wastewater Study meetings. This is the program I have been reporting on intermittently since last summer, now just past the halfway point in Phase II of the study. I now have an obligation to attend the meetings because I have been asked to replace one of the members who had to relocate out of state. This is a very exciting appointment for me because the issues being discussed by the committee are in large measure the focus of my decision to move away from hydrology, attend law school, and refocus my career on water policy (my current employment situation notwithstanding). My membership on the committee is an outgrowth of my being a member of another committee here in Tucson, the Citizens Water Advisory Committee, which advises the mayor and council on budgets and other operational matters of the City water utility (Tucson Water).
The next meeting of the city/county study committee is taking place tomorrow night, July 16, at the Tucson Association of Realtors offices on Tucson Blvd. just north of Grant, beginning at 5:00 PM. Sorry for the late notice, but as I mentioned above I've been pretty busy. This meeting is really the focal point of this phase of the study. They will be discussing ways to link growth decisions (rezonings, development agreements, comprehensive plan updates) with some form of examination of available water resources (preferably renewable water). The website for the study has a report posted discussing this issue that I am currently working through. I will try to post another update within the coming week with my impressions of the meeting and the report.