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The implications of adjusting to a hotter and drier future aren’t just on the minds of the state’s water managers. It seems they’re also a hot topic for Arizona’s foremost student researchers.

Aerial View of the Colorado River

Drought and its effects were a recurrent theme at this year’s Arizona Hydrological Society Symposium where the 2019 CAP Award for Water Research was presented by CAWCD Board Member Mark Taylor.

The first place honors went to Thomas Whipple for his Master’s thesis titled, “Planning for depletion: optimal irrigation in the Pinal AMA under changing water sources.” Tom is a hydrologist with the Arizona Department of Water Resources working in the Recharge section. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in hydrology from the University of Arizona. This paper was his Master’s thesis.

Second place garnered two winners. The first is Tiffani Cáñez for her paper, “Mapping fresh and brackish groundwater to inform better management of decreasing groundwater levels in the Wilcox Basin, south-east Arizona.” Tiffani received her Bachelor’s degree in hydrology last May from the University of Arizona and is now completing her Master’s degree, also in hydrology. Her research focuses on the combination of water quality and water management.

The next second place winner is Shelby Hoglund for her paper, “Issues and implications for central Arizona agriculture associated with the Colorado River shortage.” Shelby is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona in the Department of Environmental Sciences. She is a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Fellow researching soil carbon in arid agricultural systems. 

CAP offers the Award for Water Research annually to encourage and support water research in Arizona colleges and universities and to raise public awareness of water issues impacting central and southern Arizona and the Colorado River. The first place winner received $1,000 and second place winners received $500. This year’s winners were sponsored by CAP and able to present their research last week at the Arizona Hydrological Society’s annual symposium.

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