Ducey Launches Initiative To Tackle Projected Arizona Water Shortage

By Will Stone
Published: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 5:05am
Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 9:53am
(Photo via azwater.gov)
Completed in 1993, the Central Arizona Project is the largest aqueduct system in the country, stretching 336 miles.

Gov. Doug Ducey is launching a new initiative to help solve Arizona’s long-term water challenges.

Over the next 100 years, Arizona could be short anywhere from 1 million to 3 million acre feet of water. For comparison, Valley residents consume about 1 million acre feet annually.

Almost any solution will take years to implement and lots of money. For that reason, on Monday, Ducey instructed the Department of Water Resources, led by Thomas Buschatzke to study water issues on a local level, especially in the more neglected rural areas, and come up with the actual policy recommendations and ways to pay for them.

Buschatzke said those could include ways of “acquiring more water, doing more water conservation, doing more reclaimed water reuse, and, maybe, most importantly building the infrastructure that it takes to get those resources to the places that actually have the need.”

He said reclaimed water could cover up to half of the projected supply gap in the coming decades, which is particularly important because the state already squeezed most of what it can out of conservation. Contrary to what some think, Buschatzke contends desalination can also be a financially viable solution. 

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