Kathryn Sorensen was recently appointed as director of research for ASU’s Kyl Center for Water Policy. She joined us to talk about water concerns in the Valley and state.
Secure Access to Safe Water
Arizona as a whole is a mixed bag when it comes to having secure access to safe water. Sorensen notes that in some places in Arizona, that secure access is prevalent. In other places, it’s missing.
“Certainly in urban Arizona, we’ve made great strides. If you look broader into rural Arizona, there are still some communities that have to rely on trucked water deliveries, which is not an ideal situation. There’s also been a lot of attention on fair and safe access in the Indian communities here in the state,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen said the aquifers in rural Arizona are called fossil aquifers. This means these aquifers will not naturally replenish at a significant rate. “If you draw them down, over time that means you’re just mining the aquifer. That becomes a problem for future generations who also are going to need to rely on that water,” Sorensen said.
Future of Water Planning in Arizona
Water concerns are prevalent in Arizona, but Sorensen remains positive. “We have a great foundation of wise water management in this state. The trick is that we got to continue to build from that,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen also doesn’t want to minimize the problems in the state. “We’ve already put to use the easy solutions. The things that were easy to do. Those are in place. Looking forward to a hotter and dryer future, the challenges that are ahead of us are tough. The solutions available to us are expensive and politically difficult,” Sorensen said.