As concerns grow that Arizona and neighboring states may be facing a water shortage due to one of the worst droughts in history, solutions are being proposed in the Arizona Legislature and by water experts.
The Goldwater Institute issued a report on March 15 in conjunction with the Environment Research Center (PERC), outlining reforms in four specific policy areas to deal with the problem. The report asserts that these proposals would not “require a dramatic expansion of the role of government.”
The patriotic group EZAZ held a forum featuring the candidates running for the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board of Directors on Sunday. At least one of the candidates, Republican Legislative District Chair Cory Mishkin, said the coming water shortage was manageable, and called out California for causing problems. A couple of the candidates expressed concern that property taxes are being used to subsidize developers and municipalities.
Jeff Caldwell, EZAZ’s secretary and volunteer coordinator, asked each candidate five questions, as well as allowing them to give opening and closing statements. The candidates were not provided the questions in advance.
Concerns are growing in Arizona that a water shortage may be looming down the road. Gov. Doug Ducey proposed creating an Arizona Water Authority (AWA) earlier this year in his 2022 State of the State address, but now the Arizona Senate majority caucus is suggesting a simpler plan that would use the existing Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA).
Ducey’s plan to augment water resources, which he forged in partnership with Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), would cost $1 billion and include integrating new technologies such as desalination, start large scale water augmentation projects, and encourage reuse and efficiency with current supplies.
Arizona’s water supply is going to take a hit in 2022 because of falling levels behind the Hoover Dam.
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior announced Monday that, based on projected water levels at Lake Mead, an unprecedented Tier I shortage emergency would be enacted Jan. 1 for the Colorado River and its basins.