Thursday night, 9/17, is the final meeting for the "new information" part of Phase II of the City of Tucson/Pima County Water and Wastewater Study Oversight Committee scope of work. There are three new white papers posted on the study website - here. I think this meeting will easily go the full 4 hours. Because in addition to the new material there will be discussion of the planning for the Phase II report writing.
The new papers are focused on 1) potential new water supplies for the region, 2) availability of water for the environment, and 3) water quality issues associated (primarily) with emerging contaminants. I've been able to read the new water supplies paper - it's only about 30 pages. The other two are 40 and 50 pages. As I have been discovering since being ensconced on the committee*, the papers - while exhibiting a great deal of diligence on the part of city and county staff, under short timelines, and tight budgets - really don't break any new ground. This study should be about breaking with convention and finding new, creative solutions to our water problems. But it just seems to be about educating people about how complex water policy is and how difficult that makes it to implement real solutions to these problems.
Uh oh. I think I may have just given myself a new job. Better get busy on those last 2 papers.
* I was reading the papers before being appointed but not as critically as I have since then. In Phase I, I pretty much waited for the draft report to be submitted before sharpening my pencil and dissecting the findings. This time it's much more critical because we will be making policy recommendations to local leaders and setting the tone for future phases of the study (planned as a truly regional dialogue on these issues). Plus the report writing is going to occur pretty quickly and the committee will have more input on the writing process than I believe they did in Phase I.