Arizona fund aims to make water more available

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Arizona recently set aside more than $1 billion dollars for a water-augmentation fund. The fund is spread over 3 years and is designed to find ways to make more water available to the state. Cut backs loom for Arizona and other states using Colorado River water. Joining us today to discuss this is Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at ASU’s Morrison Institute.

A look into Sarah Porter’s Background

Porter is a former graduate of Arizona State University, where she received her juris doctor. Now, Porter is currently the Director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy, a position she was chosen for back in January of 2015. Prior to her time at the Kyl Center, Porter worked for the Arizona State Director of Audubon Society. There, her duty was to guide the Audubon’s Water Project.  Just before working for Audubon in 2006, she was an attorney in private practice, specializing in complex commercial litigation for 14 years.

Where is Arizona getting its Water from?

With Arizona continuing to dry up after facing a 22-year drought, the state is one of several other states in the southwest who obtain most of their water from the Colorado River, which has been under some distress due to climate change. This new bill that was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey will help aid Arizona’s water supply. The legislation is providing $1.2 billion for over the course of three years to help improve long term water supplies for Arizona.

“Arizona, as an erred state, never can rest from making sure that we have enough water. We are at an inflection point in terms of our water challenges” said Porter.

Lake Powel and Mead?

Two of the biggest reservoirs that are home to multiple states including: Arizona, California, Nevada and Mexico are now eyeing an all-time low, where both are sitting under 30% water capacity.

One of the biggest problems these states face is the inflow of snow flowing in, a lot of the snow has been evaporating before it can make it’s way to the reservoirs. Over the last two years this has been a problem because of the change in climate.

“Last month the Bureau of Reclamation told those several states that share that water, that we have to find an additional two-to-four million acer feet. That’s almost 30% of the water that the system delivers to cut, so we are at a very serious point on the Colorado river system” Said Porter.

If you want more information about Arizona’s water supply, click here.

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