If you live in the American West and are a person who uses water, or if your body is approximately 70 percent water, you may need to be interested in the state of water resources.
Fortunately, a program this Thursday provides a clear-eyed view of the issues.
This Thursday, February 9, a panel discussion will examine the “Arizona Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan: Arizona Water Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty.” All the detail is here.
It begins at 1:00 p.m., and will also be available via live simulcast.
Here is more background about the program from its organizers:
Of the 7 million acre-feet of water Arizona uses annually, 40 percent is Colorado River water. Arizona water managers predict Colorado River water shortages for Arizona may be as early as 2018 with the water in Lake Mead and Lake Powell now at historic low levels.
Bill Ralls, former federal water regulator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Chair of this water program, says, “With documented significant imbalances between future demands and water supply in Arizona, the time for action is now to find state and regional solutions to realize growth potential. The solution will likely be regional. The first chapter in this historic effort is now focused in the current negotiations to develop a regional drought contingency plan in the lower basin states of California, Nevada and Arizona.”
A distinguished panel of regulatory and water experts will analyze the current status of the Lower Basin Drought Contingency; Plan and Contingency Plan Plus of the Central Arizona Project.
The Colorado River cuts a pathway of 1,450 miles from the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming to Mexico, providing a water supply to nearly 40 million people in seven states. The Central Arizona Project currently transports Colorado River water several hundred miles to Maricopa, Pinal and Pima Counties, since 1986 to Phoenix, and 1994 to Tucson.
In addition, the panel of legal and hydrogeology experts will analyze the Arizona water regulatory framework:
- The Arizona Corporation Commission regulation of water utilities
- The Arizona Department of Water Resources regulation of groundwater
- Pending Arizona wastewater reuse rule-making of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
- Recent important water court decisions
Chair and Moderator:
- William R. Ralls
- Jay M. Johnson, General Counsel, Central Arizona Project
- Kenneth C. Slowinski, Chief Counsel, Arizona Department of Water Resources
- Timothy J. Sabo, Snell & Wilmer LLP
- Charles S. Graf, R.G. Principal Hydrogeologist, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality