Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Water issues converging by 2015

Arizona water issues are converging towards some serious problems by 2015 according to Alan Dulaney, President of the Arizona Hydrologic Society, in an op-ed piece in the new AHS newsletter. Continued drought, shortages in Lake Mead from lack of snow pack runoff, a spike in water demand from resumed industrial and residential growth, and a lack of not only wells, but well drillers, are among a variety of factors that "will be a sharp reminder of just how limited our water supplies truly are."

One of the concerns Alan raises is a bit convoluted but has huge ramifications for the state:

CAGRD Plan of Operation: In 2015 the current Plan of Operation for the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) must be replaced by a new Plan, and ADWR must approve the new Plan. CAGRD is expected to be one of the biggest customers for ADD Water. Without assurances that the current gap between replenishment obligations and supply can be closed, ADWR approval may not occur. Without an approved Plan, CAGRD cannot act as guarantor for subdivisions without sufficient (or any) replenishable water supplies. Certificates of Assured Water Supply could no longer be issued, and the Designations of Assured Water Supply for several cities would come to an abrupt end. The effect on any re-nascent homebuilding industry could be severe.

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