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Meetings and Activities > 2009-06-05_Water-Committee_Scottsdale

2009-06-05 Water Committee Scottsdale, Arizona - Photos


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Presiding at the Water Committee meeting. (Left to right) Bruce Hallin Acting Cochair for the Salt River Project; Herb Guenther-Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources; Renato Ulloa-Director of Sonora Water Commission; Octavio Parra-President of the Yaqui River Irrigation District.
Approximately 80 individuals attended the Water Committee meeting. They represented water districts, academia, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, a tribal government, and municipal, state and federal agencies from the US and Mexico.

Cristina Muñoz, Coca Cola Enterprises’ Manager of Community Relations and Business Development, delivered a presentation describing the company’s corporate ethic and actions regarding water conservation and environmental sustainability. Ms. Muñoz also hosted several members of the water committee for an environmentally-focused tour of the company’s bottling facility in Tempe, Arizona.

Mario López Pérez from Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA), delivered a comprehensive presentation about desalination projects throughout Mexico. As Manager of CONAGUA’s Engineering and Technical Standards Division, his global perspective was particularly useful for attendees considering desalination projects in the Arizona-Sonora region.

Roberto Salmón Castelo, Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission’s (IBWC) Mexico Section provided a status report regarding bilateral efforts for Joint Cooperative Actions on the Colorado River. Commissioner Salmón had previously served in Hermosillo, Sonora as CONAGUA’s Director General for the Northwest Region of Mexico.


Bill Ruth, the U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and water Commission (IBWC), summarized the focus and activities of workgroups operating under the auspices of IBWC to explore Joint U.S.-Mexico Cooperative Actions for the Colorado River. Binational teams of stakeholders are examining options for water conservation, system efficiencies, environmental ecosystems and new water sources with particular interest in binational desalination.

Bruce Hallin serves as Water Group Manager for Business Development and Strategic Analysis at the Salt River Project (SRP). As a co-presenter, he delivered Part 1 of a presentation summarizing a recently-completed study of binational desalination options that would benefit Arizona and Sonora. This conceptual study of binational options was funded by SRP and the Central Arizona Project (CAP) and is independent of a desalination project that is being planned by the Municipality of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora to meet that city’s own needs.


Chuck Cullom, a Senior Resources Analyst with the Central Arizona Project (CAP), was a co-presenter for a binational desalination study that examined two project concepts that would benefit Arizona and Sonora. This study included the development of preliminary cost estimates for desalination near Puerto Peñasco with delivery of 750 ppm TDS product water to the U.S. at Imperial Dam, incorporating the option of Sonoran deliveries along the length of the conveyance pipeline or aqueduct. The study was completed in accordance with an Action Item that the Water Committee adopted during June of 2008.

Rogelio Vázquez González, a Research Professor from the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE), delivered a presentation co-authored with Jorge Ayala Soto, Puerto Peñasco’s Project Manager for Desalination and Wastewater Treatment Projects. A feasibility study funded by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) was completed during March 2009 for the Municipality of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora. Dr. Vazquez provided cost estimates for an 11 MGD desalination facility.

Claudia Gil Anaya, the Director of Urban Development for the Municipality of Nogales, Sonora, delivered a presentation about the challenges the city has faced with flooding including catastrophic damage during July of 2008. She described flood control efforts that are now underway for the construction of 18 retention basins throughout the Mexican portion of the Nogales Wash watershed. The Water Committee adopted an action item for related technical collaboration between ADWR and the Municipality of Nogales, Sonora to support their efforts.

Fernando Frías Villagón serves as Technical Manager with the Groundwater Users’ Technical Committee (COTAS) for the La Paz and Carrizal basins in southern Baja California. His presentation described an ongoing exchange of water management experiences between personnel from Arizona and Baja California Sur. The binational exchange program is funded by the International Communities Foundation (ICF) and is jointly implemented by the Arizona Water Institute (AWI), COTAS and Niparajá, an environmental NGO in La Paz, Mexico.


Sharon Megdal, the Director of the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), provided an update regarding the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) that her center is co-leading for Arizona in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey. Participants in the program from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are pursuing a joint agreement with the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) to clarify roles and activities for program implementation.
Chris A. Scott, an Assistant Professor with the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, summarizes Arizona-Sonora collaboration on the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) during the “Call to the Public”. Participants have made progress on both the San Pedro River Basin and the Santa Cruz River Basin, both of which are identified for analysis under the U.S. Congressionally-authorized Act.
Mario Castañeda, the Acting Director of the Water Resources Technology Program at Gateway Community College, provided remarks to support of the study of transboundary aquifers during the meeting’s “Call to the Public”.
The Arizona cochairs of the Water Committee presented Certificates of Appreciation to their Sonoran counterparts and to the Sonoran administrator of the committee in recognition of leadership, service and friendship since the committee’s establishment in 2007. Left to right are Bruce Hallin (SRP), Martín Mexia (Sonora’s Water Commission-CEA), Herb Guenther (ADWR), Renato Ulloa (CEA) and Octavio Parra (Yaqui River Irrigation District).