Water Future Looks Gloomy for Arizona, Surrounding Region

Millions of people have moved to Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and surrounding states- and many more are expected to follow, adding to the demand for potable water.

Sharon Megdal, director of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, said water harvesting efforts by Tucson residents and other communities are conserving water, but the demand has outstripped the supply.

Much of Arizona's water comes from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project, but the river is having trouble, she told AZ Illustrated Nature.

"We now have the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the manager of the Colorado River saying there's a 2 percent chance of a shortage in 2015, but a 50 percent chance in 2016," Megdal said. "This is based on the river flows, based on precipitation up at the Colorado River, in the headwaters and what they're releasing from Lake Powell to Lake Mead."

Watch a video of this September 30 Arizona Illustrated interview at the link below.

Date released: 
Nov 1 2013
Contact: 
Sharon Megdal