Bringing Innovation Partnerships to Limited Resources: The Phoenix/ Tucson Water Exchange

March 06, 2019
01:00 pm - 02:00 pm ET


Registration closed.


Courtesy Durham County, NC

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“As with many innovative ideas, sometimes the most significant obstacles arise from changes in the way things have always been done.”

While this story is all about water sustainability in the American Southwest, it is also an example of creative collaboration between governments that has forged a stronger relationship, going beyond water resource management and promises a brighter future for the citizens of Phoenix and Tucson. Maintaining a steady flow of water resources has become quite the “wicked problem” for several regions. In 2014, Phoenix and Tucson embarked in a historic partnership in water that capitalizes on the respective strengths and history of their water utilities in a way that makes both cities more sustainable and resilient in the face of continuing drought in the desert Southwest and threats to the Colorado River Basin.


As the two largest cities in mostly rural Arizona, Phoenix and Tucson have distinct and separate cultural identities. Boasting a rich 243-year history, Tucson is one of the oldest cities in the United States, while Phoenix’s upstart post-1950 growth has catapulted it to the 5th largest city in the nation. The relationship of these cities has often reflected the rivalries of their local state universities, with the stately University of Arizona “bearing down” in Tucson and Arizona State University’s growing sprawl over the Phoenix metropolitan area. One challenge common to these Arizona cities is sustainability in water resources. Although they are separated by 115 miles of Interstate 10, Phoenix and Tucson share a common water resource in the Colorado River, conveyed more than 300 miles through the Central Arizona Project canal from Arizona’s western border, through Phoenix and uphill to Tucson.

Join us and Cynthia Campbell, Water Resource Management Advisor for City of Phoenix on March 6 and learn how this “odd couple” came together and forged an alliance that benefits more than 50% of the population of Arizona through an agreement that moves water through time.

Session takeaways:

  • Collaboration among governments expands opportunities to sustain finite resources.
  • Managing limited shared resources does not have to be a zero sum game
  • Creative solutions and innovation are keys to local resiliency challenges
  • Effective water resource management in the face of a changing climate requires receptivity to adaptation, collaboration and change.

Have questions? Contact Ryan Spillers, Program Coordinator at or pocket it for now until the Q&A during the live session!

Event Details


  • March 06, 2019
  • 01:00 pm 02:00 pm ET
  • Registration Deadline: 03/06/2019


  • GoToWebinar


  • Member Price:$49.00
  • Non-Member:$99.00

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