Center for Global Health
Arizona Water for All
Arizona Water for All is part of the Arizona Water Innovation Initiative — a statewide project that aims to bring together municipal, agricultural, nongovernmental, industrial and international stakeholders to promote water conservation and implement innovative water technology and infrastructure in Arizona. In November of 2022, the state of Arizona invested $40 million in ASU to lead this initiative over a multi-year period.
In partnership with the Center for Global Health, Arizona Water for All will work to enhance the long-term water security for all Arizonans by collaborating on solutions with our state’s most water-insecure communities. Our vital work in water-insecure households along the U.S.- Mexico border has been co-facilitated with partners at the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC). We are excited to continue to collaborate with our community partners throughout the four-year grant period to leverage our resources and have the largest possible impact on sustained water security.
Led by Amber Wutich, the Arizona Water for All program works with Arizona’s most water-insecure households and communities to improve water security and engagement in water decision-making using community-based approaches. Our program has three goals to meet to achieve water security:
Goal 1: Empowerment & Participation
Promote empowerment and participation in community water decision-making.
Goal 2: Water Security Solutions
Deploy proven water security solutions, such as fit-to-purpose technologies.
Goal 3: Measurement & Monitoring
Advance measurement and monitoring of household water insecurity.
This initiative will provide opportunities for ASU social scientists to leverage our place by doing use-inspired research and building community partnerships to transform society. We expect this program will advance ASU’s social embeddedness and measurably advance water security in Arizona’s most water-insecure households and communities. Not only does this program work to create an equitable water future, it also solidifies ASU’s reputation as strong and successful stewards amidst climate change.
Innovation and impact
The Arizona Water for All team originally formed with the goal of finding innovative ways to advance water security in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Working across engineering, data science, anthropology, economics, law and policy, the Arizona Water for All initiative is converging to form a new field of study and designing innovative approaches to water security. Not only are our academic disciplines converging, but we have created new methods to intersect with communities as co-researchers and partners.
Our work asks the innovative question: how can we, as scientists, build trust and converge with water-insecure communities around solutions?
Today, Arizona Water for All is bringing together stakeholders from across the state to research experiences around water-insecurity, collaborate in building resilient community networks and deploying proven water solutions across the state. Our impact will be measured by the sustained health and increased empowerment of Arizona’s most vulnerable and water-insecure communities for years to come.
Meeting our goals
Goal 1: Promote empowerment and participation in community water decision-making
Arizona Water for All will measurably increase participation in water decision-making among Arizona’s most water-insecure communities. By establishing the Arizona Water for All Network, we will bring together organizations, advocates and community members to promote water security and empowerment across Arizona. Our community engagement efforts will increase dialogue and inclusion of views in under-represented communities to move forward water policy and action
Goal 2: Deploy proven water security solutions, such as fit-to-purpose technologies.
Our dedicated team of engineers is working to improve water quality in communities across the state by designing and implementing water technology solutions. Arizona Water for All is deploying modular/mobile, adaptive and decentralized (MAD) water solutions to ensure each piece of technology’s resilience to a fast changing desert climate and unpredictable water access needs. We prioritize self-contained, transportable and low-maintenance water mechanisms to ensure that we are providing communities with lasting solutions.
Goal 3: Advance measurement and monitoring of household water insecurity
Arizona Water for All recruits, trains and deploys field researchers to undertake studies in water-insecure communities in Arizona. As an initial study, our researchers will interview 250 residents in communities all across the state to better understand individual experiences relating to water-insecurity. In addition, we will create the first validated scale for measuring household water insecurity in the global north.
Arizona Water for All is building a network of organizations that can invest in communities long after the culmination of our four-year grant initiative. If you are interested in joining the network of community partners dedicated to empowering Arizonans statewide through providing safe, accessible water resources, please reach out to our Community Research Analyst, Daniela Sherrill (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will find ways to work together.
PhD Student, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Dylan Diaz-Infante is a first-year PhD student in sociocultural anthropology, studying causes and interventions for water insecurity in Arizona. He is interested in the economic, biological and experiential dimensions of water usage in different cultural contexts and social pressures. Dylan’s work with Arizona Water For All will examine how people in marginalized, underbounded communities without water infrastructure cope with water insecurity and seeks to work to solve water insecurity issues in the long haul. Dylan is an avid hiker; loves science, film, music, literature; and interactive and immersive media like video games and other audiovisual arts.
Program Manager - Arizona Water for All
Marlene Rivas started her professional journey in events centered around community outreach and academic enrichment. In 2014, she received her bachelor's degree in business communication from Arizona State University (ASU) and is currently pursuing her MBA via the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. Marlene is the program manager for the Arizona Water for All project, as part of the Arizona Water for All Innovation Initiative. Economic hardships have sparked her passion for helping provide resources and long-term solutions to lower-income communities. Being an Arizona native, her roots run deep in the community she calls home. She is proud to be a part of a team leading research and contributing sustainable solutions to water-insecure households in Arizona.
Laura Castro-Diaz, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Researcher | Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation | ASU
Laura is a sustainability scholar who works with transdisciplinary and convergence teams that advance environmental justice and tackle sustainability challenges. She employs diverse collaborative and community-based frameworks and mixed-methods to examine the implications and responses to environmental injustices at different scales, from the individual to the global scale.
Community Research Analyst | Arizona Water for All
Daniela received her bachelor’s degree in environmental and sustainability studies with a minor in civic engagement from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2020. Since then, she has worked as a housing case manager for newly resettled refugees in Arizona and as a community organizer for political campaigns aiming to raise the minimum wage for workers in the state. As a member of the Arizona Water for All team, she hopes to use her community organizing and engagement experience to cultivate empowerment within Arizona’s most water-insecure communities. She adores sunbathing, writing poetry, and spending time with her family and loved ones.
Program Coordinator | the Center for Global Health
Miranda is the new program coordinator for the Center for Global Health. She comes to us from a previous coordinating position at Arizona PBS. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with her master’s degree in mass communication in 2022. Miranda is happy to be assisting the fantastic leadership and faculty of the Center for Global Health, and looks forward to continuing work with Arizona Water for All.