ASUNow: The future of water in the Southwest

Friday, October 7, 2016

ASUNow presented a three-part series examining the work that ASU is doing in the realm of water as a resource in the arid West by looking at the current situation, exploring solutions, and the intersection of law, policy and academia.

The discussions included Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute; Rhett Larson, an associate professor in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU, senior research fellow with Morrison Institute for Public Policy and an advisory board member of Kyl Center for Water Policy; and Grady Gammage Jr., also a senior fellow at Morrison Institute and the Kyl Center for Water Policy, as well as a senior scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and teaches at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and at the W. P. Carey School of Business.







Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Sarah Porter moderates a panel discussion at the Southwestern Regional Water-Energy Nexus meeting on Sept. 8 at Old Main on the Tempe campus. The purpose of the meeting was to face challenges with innovative, ecologically wise technological solutions.

One of the challenges is getting two of the main players — scientists and those making decisions in government — talking to each other.

“I think, for some reason, and I don’t think it’s either side’s fault, policymakers and scientists aren’t communicating at all,” Porter said. “In a lot of disciplines there’s an expectation when they publish a paper in a scholarly magazine, someone at the legislature is going to pick it up and read it and act on it. Of course it’s absurd to think that if you think about how busy elected officials are and the demands on their attention.”

“There are places at ASU where there are much more deliberate efforts to make those communications happen,” she said.

READ: Part one – The future of water in the Southwest

READ: Part two – Floating new ideas for water solutions

READ: Part three – Bridging science and policy for better water strategies