top of page

 

Environment- AZ Water Crisis

 

·       A multiple approach, including, for example, far better managing, conserving, reducing loss, recycling, and ending pricing water so cheaply that it's profitable to grow water-intensive crops in the AZ high desert.

 

·       All of us working together --  agriculture, business, industry, the political parties, the Tribes, government, citizens.  We did so with the 1980 state water management plan, but now very inadequate and outdated.

 

·       Key would be an enforced, effective and equitable statewide management plan which 80% of AZ land and 1.5 million Arizonans now lack. 

 

·       Electing candidates in Nov. 2022 who advocate practical solutions.  Given continuing Republican disinterest, vote for Dems including water-crisis experts Kennedy and Kuby for the AZ Corp. Commission, and  Pederson, Arboleda, Graff and Aguilar for the Central AZ Water Conservation District, and Dems for the state legislature.

 = = = =

SOME POSITIVE ACTIONS

A Cochise County Nov. ballot initiative would launch an Active [County] Management Area, the third of three management options given the inaction of the state legislature and the AZ Dept. of Water Resources.  Mohave and other counties are interested.

Dem gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs' Resilient Arizona plan would  establish the Water and Energy Innovation Initiative, tasked with securing our water supply by better conserving and managing, investing and upgrading our infrastructure, and advancing a clean energy economy that lowers costs, diversifies our energy structure, and addresses climate change challenges.

The 2022  Republican-controlled legislative session was again long and irresponsible regarding the major environmental issues.  It advanced no bills to regulate and protect  ground and surface water and stopped positive bills on groundwater exploitation limits, metering, etc.  Its  Mexican desalinization and piped-in Mississippi water legislation were long-term, pie-in-the sky, multibillion proposals.  This despite:

·          AZ being in the midst of long-term aridification, the worst megadrought in 1200 years, increasing extreme heat and wildfire frequency and acreage. 

 

·          Pine-Strawberry and Wilcox using up its potable water sources. Lake Powell drying up, causing  an initial 20% cut in Colorado River  water deliveries to AZ in Jan., 2023.

 

·          The growing possibility of the end of agriculture in central AZ because of over-allocated decreasing  groundwater and surface water resources. 

 

·          Climate change exacerbating all of the above.

 

·          62% of AZ  voters saying it's very important for the state govt. to invest in water conservation efforts, 57% saying that AZ Gov. Ducey should be doing more to address water-related environmental challenges, 90% for securing our water future, 94% believing the drought will worsen.

 

·          The unaddressed continuance of a Ducey & state land trust sweetheart deal allowing a Saudi agricultural firm to rent a 3,500-acre plot of state-owned land at a steeply discounted rate to grow water-intensive feed for cattle in Saudi Arabia from a future Phoenix aquifer.

 

·          Domestic corporations (e.g., big-time developers, industrial farms) legally drilling in unmanaged areas.

 

·           Developers legally evading the 100-year assured water supply regulation for single large subdivisions by building small scattered groups of houses.

·       Wasteful and antiquated water uses (water-intensive crops, golf course overuse, lawns -- 70% of home water use* is on landscape) need curtailing.

*But all of the corrective actions by individual citizens won’t overcome negligent policy allowing big water users to keep guzzling.

·       Recent positive results from conserving water and replenishing aquifers in Phoenix and other municipalities are being overwhelmed by blistering growth in outlying communities.  Buckeye's frenetic increase from 6,500 people in 2000 to close to 100,000 today, like many of AZ's rapidly expanding communities, occurs without access to surface water and 100% dependence on groundwater.

 Sources:  Various internet sources, primarily the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club

bottom of page