AREC Undergrads Attend Annual Water Conference 2023

Nov. 13, 2023

The Department supported and invited undergraduates to attend the Agribusiness & Water Council’s Annual Meeting & Water Conference, 2023: “Watery Going to Do?”. Two undergraduate students traveled to Tempe, AZ on September 15th for the event, both students are from AREC’s Environmental & Water Resource Economics major, Jake Breitweiser and Janelle Etsitty. Janelle and Jake spent the day attending discussions and presentations about water policy and management, future power in Arizona, and the future of agriculture and water in the Southwest. Below are the remarks shared by each student highlighting their experience. 


Jake Breitweiser, EWRE 

“On September 15, 2023, I attended the annual meeting and water conference in Phoenix AZ. The event was called “Watery Going to Do” presented by the Salt River Project and the College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Science.  I heard about the event from my class website and felt like it would be interesting to hear what is currently being discussed in the agriculture industry today. Myself and another student, Janelle Etsitty, were the only ones from the UA Tucson Campus attending the event. However, I met some students from the UA Yuma campus when I was checking in. The atmosphere was very friendly and cordial. During the event, I listened to many industry-leading professionals including Patrick Adams from the office of Governor Katie Hobbs, Paul Bierly from Arizona's Department of Agriculture, and Camille Touton who is a water policy advisor and commissioner of the United States Bureau of Reclamation. It was very informative to hear about many different areas of agriculture and water allocation in Arizona. After attending the annual meeting and water conference in Phoenix, I feel as though I’ve scratched the surface of the many factors that determine how water allocation is regulated. Overall it was a great learning experience and opportunity to tune in on the current discourse in water policy in Arizona.” 


Janelle Etsitty, EWRE 

“The Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona's 2023 conference, "Watery Going to Do?" was a very interesting experience. I went as a freshman in my undergraduate studies, so I didn’t think I would be able to get this type of opportunity this early. Going there gave me a view of the people who are in the Water business and Agriculture, seeing that I saw they didn’t have much diversity. I felt a little uncomfortable being probably the only Native American there, let alone the youngest. But this downset only made me more interested in getting into Water Law, Nicole D. Klobas’ overview of the U.S. Supreme Court Case: State of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado vs. Navajo Nation was very interesting to hear. Klobas’ insight into the case made me more interested and I feel that may be the path I want to take. I am now curious and plan on adding a law class to my schedule. Other than that, the Conference was a nice experience, the food was also good, and I got to learn about water rights and the importance of Water in Arizona. I would do this conference again, but I wish I really got out of my comfort zone and talked to people.” 


AREC is grateful for the generous donations provided to the department to fund undergraduate enrichment and allow students like Janelle and Jake to attend conferences, learn outside of the classroom and make new professional connections.