Sharon B. Megdal

Director, Water Resources Research Center (WRRC)

C. W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor

Professor/Specialist, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science

Distinguished Outreach Professor

Director, Water Sustainability Program

Co-Director, Water, Environmental and Energy Solutions

Member, National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR)

Elected Board Member, Central Arizona Project

President-Elect, Universities Council on Water Resources

Sharon B. Megdal is Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), an Extension and research unit in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her work focuses on water policy and water resources management challenges and solutions, on which she writes and frequently speaks. She also holds the titles: Professor and Specialist, Department Soil, Water, and Environmental Science; C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor; and Distinguished Outreach Professor. She serves as Co-Director of The University of Arizona Water, Environmental and Energy Solutions Program, which is funded by the University of Arizona Technology Research and Initiative Fund (TRIF).

The geographic scope of Dr. Megdal’s work ranges from local to international. Current projects include: comparative evaluation of water management, policy, and governance in growing, water-scarce regions; groundwater management and governance; groundwater recharge; transboundary aquifer assessment; and Conserve2Enhance™. She is the lead editor of the book, Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges. She also has served as lead guest editor for multiple special issues of the journal Water. She writes a regular water policy column for the WRRC newsletter. Current and all past columns can be found at Dr. Megdal teaches the multi-disciplinary graduate course Arizona Water Policy. 

Selected service activities include the following. Sharon is immediate Past President of the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR), President-Elect of the board of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR), and a board member for the International Arid Lands Consortium and the Western Rural Development Center. In November 2014, Dr. Megdal was elected by the residents of Pima County, Arizona to a second six-year term on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors, also known as the Central Arizona Project (CAP), where she is responsible for the policies, rates and taxes associated with delivering Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project. In February 2016, Dr. Megdal was elected Secretary of the CAP Board and Chair of the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District and Underground Storage Committee. Dr. Megdal has served on numerous Arizona boards and commissions, including the Arizona Corporation Commission, the State Transportation Board and the Arizona Medical Board. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University.


  • PhD, Economics, Princeton University