And the winners are…students recognized for water research

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Two Northern Arizona University students captured top honors in the 2020 CAP Award for Water Research. The Award recognizes excellence in graduate or undergraduate student research addressing water issues facing the lower basin states (Arizona, California and Nevada).

First place honors went to Mary Samar for her Master’s Thesis titled “On the precipice of transition: water, crops and adaptation in Pinal County, Arizona.” Her paper focused on the challenges facing agriculture due to stressed water systems and worsening impacts of climate change.

Second place honors went to Riley Swanson, for his Master’s Thesis titled “Quantifying the base flow of the Colorado River: its importance in sustaining perennial flow in northern Arizona and southern Utah.”His paper focused on using new and extant instrumented data (not indirect methods) to quantify the base flow contribution to surface flow and highlight the overlooked, substantial portion of groundwater.

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. Judging is conducted in a blind process by representatives of CAP’s popularly elected Board of Directors, CAP customers and management, and other members of the water community. The first place winner received $1,000 and second place winner received $500.

Papers can be found on the CAP website and a video was produced as part of the Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge conference supported by the Arizona Hydrological Society to showcase the winners.