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Phoenix considering water options amid climate-change worries

Source: The Arizona Republic, Betty Reid

Phoenix is well-supplied with water, so long as the state’s ongoing drought doesn’t worsen, the city’s water department says. Water Services Department has asked the City Council to consider several options if a catastrophic drought does occur.

The Department projects the nation’s sixth largest city should have enough water to last another century – provided temperatures don’t spike upward. Arizona experienced low rainfall and low snow levels in the mountains this year.

The state has done a good job of developing reservoirs for dry years, experts say, but global warming, coupled with California’s severe drought conditions, is of concern.

No matter how well Arizona plan’s to avoid a water shortage, the regional economy may suffer if reliable water supplies are threatened. Looking decades into the future, continued growth, coupled with the possible effects of climate change, will increase the chance of a shortage.

The report particularly raises concerns about the Colorado River which provides 47 percent of Phoenix’s total water delivery.

The basin states – Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – have a strategy to reduce demands on the river. Under the Colorado River System Conservation Program, users would be paid “for voluntary reductions in water use, which would create conserved water” and increase reservoir levels.

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