March 3, 2023

Arizona growth provides opportunities for innovation and water resource solutions

We’d like to thank our panelists and everyone who joined us at our February 22nd Arizona WestWater Forum for our discussion on how new industrial water demands stack up against other existing and future community water needs.

The following is our recap and few key takeaways from the forum:

The prevalence and consistency of drought in the American Southwest has changed the conversation in Arizona surrounding water supplies for municipal growth and new industrial developments. There remain strong advantages to locating new developments in the Grand Canyon State, including its competitive labor market, the low risk of natural disasters, and its location relative to key U.S. and international markets—among others. Despite the challenges ahead, our panelists discussed how the prospect of continued economic growth presents an opportunity for both water providers in Arizona and the water users they serve to innovate and develop sustainable water resource solutions. Both physical and regulatory water supply constraints have necessitated innovation in water infrastructure, demand management and conservation, development policy, and augmentation strategies, including driving new water market transactions. Companies are interested in investing in sustainable water practices and all our panelists recognized that having a diverse water supply portfolio is key to avoiding significant negative impacts due to shortage. By working together, water providers and new developments can continue to take advantage of these opportunities while better aligning their objectives and supporting sustainable growth.

The Panel

Cynthia Campbell

City of Phoenix

Cynthia Campbell is the Water Resources Management Advisor for the City of Phoenix, a position she has held for over 6 years. She manages the City’s water portfolio and advises the City Manager and Water Services Department on policy issues relating to long-range water planning and strategy. She is the City’s liaison with the State of Arizona, Central Arizona Project, Salt River Project and other organizations on water resource issues. Previously, Cynthia served the City of Phoenix as an Assistant City Attorney for five years. She also served five years as Compliance Manager of the Water Quality Division of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and three years as an Assistant Attorney General at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. She is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Maureen Howell

Greater Phoenix Economic Council

As Chief of Staff, Maureen (Mo) Howell is responsible for supporting all of GPEC’s departments to enhance compliance and financial reporting, manage organizational systems and processes, and provide strategic coordination of advisory and engagement councils. Maureen spent four years at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council on the Research and Analytics team, providing data and policy analysis to drive the region’s economic development strategy, and bringing value to GPEC stakeholders before leaving to spend time in the private sector with Economic Incentives Advisory Group. Maureen is an Arizona native, born and raised in Tempe. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Arizona State University. Maureen is a Leading for Change Fellow and an alumnus of Tempe Leadership.


Austin Weatherford

Independent Consultant

Austin has 10+ years in manufacturing & engineering leadership positions with large food and beverage manufacturers across the US. He recently has launched a consulting company, Atlas Ventures, which primarily provides project management and engineering services for the manufacturing sector with a focus on water stewardship and sustainability.


Jessica Fox

WestWater Research

Jessica Fox is the Southwest Regional Director for WestWater Research and leads the firm’s Phoenix office. She is a dedicated water resources professional, bringing over ten years of experience in Arizona water policy and management. She has extensive experience developing and advocating for policy solutions and strategies to address groundwater and surface water issues affecting the desert southwest. While working for Arizona’s largest renewable water supplier, Jessica developed datasets and modeling tools to evaluate water supply and demand scenarios, analyze water shortage impacts, and implement effective policies and programs to achieve the organization’s strategic goals.


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