The WRRC thanks the Cobre Valley communities and partners for their participation, enthusiasm, and contributions that made for a great day.
On April 9, the Second Cobre Valley Forum brought together around 70 people to look at water in the region from different angles and perspectives.
One of the major goals of the day was to illustrate the importance of secure and clean water supplies to our everyday lives, focusing on current water supply and demand estimates; on-the-ground work to increase the visibility of water-dependent natural resources and promote environmental stewardship in the area; economic development in consideration of the local environment; and public awareness and education about water.
The forum continued conversations begun in September 2018 at the First Cobre Valley Forum on Water among stakeholders and leaders from government, industry, not-for-profit sectors and community activists on watershed issues.
Between these two forums, the WRRC worked with community partners to move forward with goals defined in the first forum.
On April 9, guest speakers presented the results of that work and other pertinent topics, including a Cobre Valley water budget, Pinal Creek Trail pilot site and innovative approaches to water education and awareness.
Gila County Cooperative Extension Agent Chris Jones shared scientific factors impacting the growth and survival of cottonwood trees and led an interactive Q and A.
UA architecture and planning students shared the results of a semester-long project developing options and plans for sites in Cobre Valley and the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and the UA’s “Project Harvest” shared first-year data on the quality of locally harvested rainwater.
Kerry Schwartz brought it together with ideas of how to communicate these critical issues to children and adults alike.
Finally, a panel of stakeholders answered questions about challenges, aspirations and potential solutions.
These presentations, discussions and the comments/questions received from the audience will help the University of Arizona, as well as other organizations, understand what research and coordination could be directed to Cobre Valley to support healthy communities and watersheds.
A full summary and description of next steps will be completed and posted online to view and download by Thursday, May 9, including pdf versions of speaker presentations and summaries of the content and discussions.
The results will be emailed and posted at wrrc.arizona.edu/Forums-Cobre-Valley
Special recognition of our amazing speakers, elected officials and regional partners:
Joe Heatherly, Town of Miami Supervisor Tim Humphrey, Gila County; Deborah Patton, RCAC; Victoria Hermosilla, Cobre Valley Watershed Partnership; Bethany Cheney, Gila County Department of Public Health; Christopher Jones, Gila County Cooperative Extension; Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta, University of Arizona; University of Arizona Graduate Planning students; Kerry Schwartz, Arizona Project WET; Freddy Rios, Arizona Water Company; Mayor Al Gameros, City of Globe; Kelly Mott Lacroix, US Forest Service Tonto National Forest; Gerry Walker, Arizona Department of Water Resources, and Supervisor Woody Cline, Gila County.
Submitted by Ashley Hullinger, research analyst with the UA WRRC