2019 - The Water We Share

2019 Banner


About RE:BORDER 2019

RE:BORDER 2019 is the first annual conference that explores key regional issues and innovative solutions. This year, we will analyze the use of water resources in the transborder region of California and Baja California. Academic experts, practitioners, students, public policy experts, and community stakeholders will explore how San Diego State University and its regional partners can contribute to innovative solutions for water­ related challenges in the transborder region through expert presentations, conversations, poster sessions, and artistic experiences.

November 25th at San Diego State University
November 26th at UABC, Tijuana

Acerca RE:BORDER 2019

RE:BORDER 2019 es la primera conferencia anual que explora problemas claves regionales y soluciones innovadoras. Este año, analizaremos el uso de los recursos hídricos en California y Baja California. Académicos expertos, profesionales, estudiantes y comunidad en general interesada explorarán cómo la Universidad Estatal de San Diego y sus asociados regionales pueden contribuir a soluciones innovadoras para los desafíos relacionados con el agua en la región transfronteriza mediante presentaciones de expertos, diálogos, sesión de carteles y exposiciones artísticas.

25 de noviembre en San Diego State University
26 de noviembre en UABC, Tijuana


Text Region to 56512 to view the agenda on your mobile device.


9:00 AM
Montezuma Hall

10:15 AM
Montezuma Hall

Session 1. Water Reuse

A secure and reliable water supply is critical for both the San Diego region and the coastal zone of Baja California. One way to improve water security is through increasing water reuse in the region. Technological solutions for wastewater treatment that include energy and nutrient recovery are available and can help increase the water supply for human use. These approaches both provide feasible options transborder collaboration. Together we can provide greater efficiency in managing this critical resource.

  • Moderator: Kari Sant, School of Public Health, SDSU
  • Speaker: David Gibson, Executive Officer, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, The Past and Future of Water Recycling in San Diego
  • Speaker: Leopoldo Mendoza Espinoza, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, UABC, Reuse of Wastewater in Baja California: Current Practices and Growing Opportunities
  • Comment: Natalie Mladenov, Engineering, SDSU
  • Rapporteur: Christy Dykstra, Engineering, SDSU

11:45 am
Montezuma Hall

Session 2. Water and Health

Access to a safe water supply, adequate sanitation services, and better hygiene practices (also known as WASH for “water, sanitation, and hygiene”) are essential for human health. Reuse of wastewater is important, but contamination is a real issue. New treatment systems are available for sewage reclamation and reuse for drinking water and other purposes in the border region. However, there is a need for additional research into the potential health risks of water reuse, especially for potable water. The water-health relationship within both countries will have transborder impacts.

  • Moderator: Stanley Maloy, Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation, SDSU
  • Speaker: Rick Gersberg, School of Pubic Heath at SDSU and City of San Diego Independent Advisory Panel for Pure Water, "Health Implications of the Direct or Indirect Potable Reuse of Sewage, and San Diego's Pure Water Project"
  • Speaker: Concepción Carreón-Diazconti, Instituto de Ingenería, UABC, “Water Reuse and Health in Baja California”
  • Comment: Matt Verbyla, Engineering, SDSU
  • Rapporteur: Alberto Pombo, Urban and Environmental Studies, COLEF

1:15 pm
Montezuma Hall

Lunch and Poster Displays

2:30 pm
Montezuma Hall (3A)
Threatre (3B)

Session 3A. Water Management and Governance across Borders: The Tijuana River Watershed

Political and administrative boundaries in the transborder region often separate components of natural systems but watersheds are most effectively managed as integrated units. Unified management can maximize water supply and maintain healthy ecosystems. In order for cross-border management of water and watersheds to be sustainable and equitable, there is a need to understand the institutional contexts of both nations. This session explores progress toward basin-wide management of the binational Tijuana River Watershed to improve quality of life for both sides of the border.

  • Moderator: Denise Moreno Ducheny, Senior Policy Advisor, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UCSD
  • Speaker: Trent Biggs and Richard Wright, both Geography, SDSU, History of Collaborative Research and Data Integration for the Binational Tijuana River Watershed
  • Speaker: Carlos de la Parra, Urban and Environmental Studies, COLEF, Binational Management of the Tijuana River Watershed: Minute 320 and Beyond
  • Comment: Celeste Cantú, Vice-Chair, Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego
  • Comment: Elsa Saxod, Board Member, San Diego County Water Authority
  • Rapporteur: Paul Ganster, Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias, SDSU

Session 3B (Theater). Stakeholder Perspectives on Water Challenges in the Transborder Region

This panel discussion will explore transborder water issues from the perspectives of regional stakeholders including the private sector, environmental organizations, agriculture, local and state government, and others. The panelists will be asked to share their insights regarding challenges to effective water management in the transborder region.

Facilitator: Jerry Sanders, CEO / President San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce


  • Dan Denham, Assistant General Manager, SD County Water Authority
  • Peter MacLaggan, Senior Vice President of California Project Development, Poseidon Water
  • Hannah Gbeh, Executive Director, San Diego County Farm Bureau
  • Laura Silvan, Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental
  • Matt O’Malley, Executive Director, San Diego Coastkeeper
  • Faye Crevoshay, Communications & Policy Director, WILDCOAST
  • Rapporteur: Alan Sweedler, Physics and Center for Energy Studies, SDSU

4:00 pm
Montezuma Hall

Session 4. Rapporteur Summaries and Conclusions for Day 1

4:30 pm
Montezuma Hall

Closing Remarks by U.S. Representative Juan Vargas

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Montezuma Hall



9:00 am


Keynote: Judith Domínguez Serrano, El Colegio de México, General Water Law: Reforms to Guarantee the Human Right to Water in Mexico / Ley General de Aguas: reformas para garantizar el derecho humano al agua en México

10:00 am

Session 5. Climate Change, Water Security, and Risks

The goal of this session is to provide an overview of how climate change has and will continue to affect the border region. Climate models indicate that the California-Baja California transborder area will experience decreased precipitation, more intense storm events, warming temperatures, and rising sea levels. Because of this, there may be greater risks of floods and landslides as well as wildfires. Decreased water production in the Colorado Basin and in the Sierra Nevada mountains will reduce water available for the border region, which currently obtains 90% of its water from imports. While vulnerability to these changes and hazards varies by community, climate change is affecting the entire transborder region.

  • Moderator: Gabriela Muñoz, Urban and Environmental Studies, COLEF
  • Speaker: Tereza Cavazos, Physical Oceanography, CICESE, Water and Climate Change along the Baja California-California Border
  • Speaker: Roberto Sánchez, Urban and Environmental Studies, COLEF, Climate Change, Water, and Vulnerability of Human Populations in the Binational Region
  • Comment: Eric Frost, Eric Frost, Homeland Security, SDSU
  • Rapporteur: Itzume Ruiz Araujo, FEyRI, UABC

11:30 am

Session 6. Water and Food

Agriculture is the largest consumer of water in the border region even as water allocations have been transferred from irrigation to urban and industrial uses. Established crop mixes are being replaced with more water efficient varieties, affecting the regional food supply, and some farm land may be fallowed for lack of water. Long-term drought has reduced water availability for the border region through a shrinking surface water supply from the Colorado River system and from depleted aquifers. The San Quintín and Guadalupe valleys in Baja California, the wine and horticultural districts of San Diego County, and commercial agriculture in the Mexicali-Imperial valleys all face challenges of reduced water for food production.

1:00 pm

Lunch and Poster Displays

2:30 pm

Session 7. Water and Equity

Water is intimately related to culture, policy, and social justice. Allocation of water resources and equity are ongoing concerns in the border region. Issues related to environmental justice include uneven water access and disproportionate burdens associated with water-related hazards.

  • Moderator: Efraín Nieblas, UABC
  • Speaker: Kimberly Collins, Public Administration, CSU San Bernardino, Water Institutions and Social Equity along the California-Baja California Border Region
  • Speaker: Jorge Ramírez Hernández, Instituto de Ingenería, UABC, Contrastes en el uso y la disponibilidad de agua en el valle y la zona costa: desafíos para el desarrollo / Contrasts in Valley and Coastal Water Use and Availability: Challenges for Development
  • Comment: Marco Antonio Samaniego, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, UABC
  • Comment: Doug Liden, San Diego Border Office, USEPA
  • Rapporteur: Jocelyn Citlali González Troncoso, UABC

4:00 – 5:00 pm

Session 8: Rapporteur Summaries of Panels for Day 2; Conference Recommendations

Speakers 2019/Panelistas 2019

Dr. Adela de la Torre
President, San Diego State University
E. Joaquin Esquivel
Chair State Water Resources Control Board
(Keynote Day 1)
Juan Vargas
Congressman, 51st Congressional District
Paola Avila
VP International Business Affairs SD Regional Chamber of Commerce
Jim Madaffer
San Diego County Water Authoirty Board Chair
Dan Denham
Assistant General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority
Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer 
Mayor of San Diego
 (Opening Remarks)
Sue Saarnio
Consul General of the United States in Tijuana
Carlos González Gutiérrez
Consul General of Mexico in San Diego
Dr. Judith Domínguez Serrano 
Professor and researcher at El Colegio de México
(Keynote Day 2)
Jerry Sanders
CEO / President San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
David Gibson
Executive Officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
Dr. Natalie Mladenov
Director of the Water Innovation and Reuse Lab at SDSU
Dr. Paul Ganster
Director of Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at SDSU
Dr. Matthew E. Verbyla
Environmental Engineering at SDSU
Dr. Manuel Valladolid Seamanduras
Farmer and former Secretary of Agricultural Development in Baja California
Dr. Trent W. Biggs
Professor of Geography at SDSU
Dr. Concepción Carreón Diazconti
Environmental Researcher at UABC
Dr. Richard D. Wright
Professor Emeritus of Geography at SDSU
Hernando Durán Cabrera
Director, Tijuana Verde
Doug Liden
Environmental Engineer at US Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Efraín Nieblas
Director of Environmental Protection, Municipality of Mexicali
Celeste Cantu
Vice Chair of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
Dr. Alberto Pombo
Environmental Studies Professor at COLEF
Dr. Belem Dolores Avendaño Ruíz
Economics and International Relations at UABC
Dr. Fernando De Sales
Faculty Geography Department at SDSU
Dr. Carlos A. de la Parra
Research Professor at COLEF
Dr. Christy M. Dykstra
Faculty Member in the Environmental Engineering Department at SDSU
Dr. Eric Frost
Professor Homeland Security at SDSU
Dr. Stanley Maloy
Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation at SDSU
Denise Moreno Ducheny
Senior Policy Advisor at UC San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies (USMEX)
Dr. Marco Antonio Samaniego López
Researcher at the Institute for Historical Research at UABC
Elsa Saxod
Representative of the City of San Diego on the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Water Authority
Peter S. Silva
President of Silva-Silva International
Rick Van Schoik
Portfolio Director of the North American Research Partnership
Dr. Tereza Cavazos
Senior Researcher in the Department of Physical Oceanography of CICESE
Dr. Gabriela Munoz-Melendez
Department of Urban and Environmental Studies at COLEF
Dr. Roberto Sánchez-Rodríguez
Professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Studies at COLEF
Laurie Silvan
Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental
Dr. Leopoldo G. Mendoza Espinosa
Researcher in wastewater treatment and reuse at UABC
Dr. Richard M. Gersberg
Professor in the School of Public Health at SDSU
Dr. Karilyn E. Sant
Professor in the SDSU School of Public Health
Dr. Isaac Azuz-Adeath
Scientific Research Coordinator at the Engineering College at CETYS
Dr. Kimberly Collins
Executive Director of the Barbara and William Leonard Transportation Center at CSUSB
Dr. Alan Sweedler
Director of the Center for Energy Studies and Professor of Physics Emeritus at SDSU
Matt O’Malley
Executive Director and Managing Attorney with San Diego Coastkeeper
Fay Crevoshay
Communications & Policy Director, WILDCOAST
Peter MacLaggan
Senior Vice President of Project Development for Poseidon Resources Corporation
Dr. Natanael Ramírez Angulo
Director of the FEyRI at UABC
Dr. Jorge Ramírez Hernández
Chief of the Department of Hydrology, Geophysics, and Environment at the Institute for Engineering at UABC
Hannah Gbeh
Executive Director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau
Dr. Itzume Ruiz Araujo
Faculty of Economics and International Relations of the UABC
Dr. Luis Cancino Opazo
Professor at the Faculty of Economics and International Relations at UABC
Mtra. Edith Montiel Ayala
Vice Rector for Tijuana Campus of UABC
Dr. Cristina Alfaro
Interim Associate Vice President for Global Affairs at SDSU
Cristian Medina Vázquez
Professor and Ph.D Candidate at UABC
Jocelyn González Troncoso
Professor and Ph.D Candidate at UABC