Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Arizona Water Institute closing due to budget cuts

The state's budget crisis will result in the Arizona Water Institute closing by June 30. In a message to the AWI's external advisory board, Director Kathy Jacobs advised that "some of the projects that were approved for this year will move forward, but most will not - and all of the funding from this fiscal year that remains will be returned to help make up the deficit."

AWI quickly gained widespread attention and recognition for it's unique approach to issues tying together water management, citizen education, and the state economy. AWI has over 100 over 100 project partnerships with public and private sector interests. They just recently posted a series of two-page fact sheets on completed projects.

One of the most innovative steps AWI took was to have associate directors at each of the state's universities as well as embedded in two state agencies - ADEQ and ADWR. I think this had the potential to be one of the most effective water coordination practices done in a state government.

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