Water

About three-fourths of Arizona’s water supply goes to agriculture, and policy makers say the state needs to address that fact as it confronts a shrinking Colorado River. That's why a University of Arizona program is helping farmers use water more efficiently.
Aug. 2, 2023
Houseboats on Lake Powell at Bullfrog Marina
The Thirst Gap podcast continues with Episode 3, which looks at changes to recreation at the country's second-biggest reservoir, Lake Powell.
Jul. 27, 2023
signs says welcome to mesa
Construction began this week on a new 10.5-mile water pipeline in Mesa. It’s part of an agreement between the city and the Gila River Indian Community that allows reclaimed water to be exchanged for Colorado River rights.
Jul. 26, 2023
washing hands with water
The Show spoke with Rhett Larson, professor of water law at ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and senior research fellow at the Kyl Center for Water Policy, about his concerns with the issue of wildcat subdivisions.
Jul. 25, 2023
Less than a year ago, voters in Douglas approved a ballot initiative to create stricter groundwater regulations through what’s called an Active Management Area. At least for now, it will remain in place after county officials threw out a separate initiative to eliminate the AMA.
Jul. 24, 2023
Cactus in the foreground with a windmill in the background.
Arizona's rural communities rely on groundwater, which experts say is a finite resource. But in most cases, it’s not regulated in any meaningful way, and the Legislature doesn't take up groundwater bills.
More stories about Arizona's water issues
Jul. 24, 2023
People sit and stand inside a fire station
The Rio Verde Foothills Standpipe District was created by an emergency state law to represent the unincorporated community’s water interests. Members said they planned to speak with utility Epcor to find a long-term water solution.
Jul. 21, 2023
A cup of water filled with ice.
Many restaurants provide free glasses of water upon request. But are they required to by law? That’s what one listener asked through KJZZ's Q&AZ reporting project.
More Q&AZ questions answered
Jul. 20, 2023
downtown tucson
More funding is on the way for cleaning up PFAS. That’s the group of human-made chemicals used in a wide range of products that’s now being found in drinking water. PFAS have been found in air, soil and water around the world.
Jul. 20, 2023
View of the Colorado River from the Historic Navajo Bridge
In the next episode in Luke Runyon of KUNC's podcast, Thirst Gap, he tackles how much water from the Colorado River agriculture uses.
Jul. 20, 2023
A sprinkler over green grass.
It took more than five years to negotiate the $24 million agreement, and the town is continuing to work to secure additional water supplies.
Jul. 19, 2023
sign for the town of Queen Creek
A number of western Arizona counties said corporate water transfers like this could set a dangerous precedent and fought the transfer. Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes wrote that she also has concerns about the practice.
Jul. 18, 2023
clean water
The teams have received $4 million to research the decentralization and automation of potable water reutilization.
Jul. 13, 2023
View of the Colorado River from the Historic Navajo Bridge
The seven Colorado River Basin states are trying to figure out how to use less water. And the decisions they make could have major impacts for people living in the West. Luke Runyon of KUNC in Colorado tells some of their stories.
Jul. 13, 2023
An Interior Department official who has played a major role in Southwest water negotiations is stepping down from her position early next week.
Jul. 12, 2023
Much of rural Arizona relies exclusively on groundwater, but the resource is for the most part unregulated. The governor’s panel on rural groundwater met recently to discuss the problem, which has led to falling water tables and a call for action.
Jul. 12, 2023
sprinklers
Scottsdale will ban natural grass in the front yards of new homes. It’s the city’s latest action following Colorado River supply shortages.
More Arizona business news
Jul. 12, 2023
washing hands with water
In June, the Phoenix City Council adopted water rate increases starting in October, when customers will see a 6.5% bump. There will be another 6.5% increase the next year, and a third — this time by 13% — in 2025.
Jul. 11, 2023
San Francisco Peaks
Officials from the Coconino National Forest and city of Flagstaff are collaborating on a project to fix a critical piece of water infrastructure.
Jul. 8, 2023
open washing machine
Glendale has had a landscape rebate program since the 1980s. The city just raised the amount of money water customers can have refunded if they switch from grass to desert landscape — and added new rebates for some washing machines and toilets that save water.
Jul. 7, 2023

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