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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions June 24, 2016

1/30/2014 3:28:00 PM
Editorial: Decide now to save future generations from water crisis

A stitch in time saves nine, the old saying goes. Meaning, taking care of a problem early will prevent a much bigger problem in the future.

That is the status of Arizona's water supply. Report after report, year after year, Arizonans have been warned that current water system is not in crisis but will be too deficient to meet the needs of the population in 100 years. Knowing that is not the same as doing something about it. Doing something about it will take commitment now from Arizona residents.

This is not a promise to turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth or a vow not to spend more than 10 minutes in the shower. What will be requested is a major investment in Arizona's water infrastructure.

There is no doubt it is needed. Also clear with every scientific report is this is not an issue that can just be kicked down the road. It will be much more expensive for the next generation and even more so for the generation after that.

Arizona Department of Water Resources Interim Director Michael J. Lacey has given us a warning: "We'll procrastinate ourselves into a crisis when, in fact, we can avoid that today."

Why would Arizonans want to procrastinate?

Whatever the economy, Arizona's population will grow. As long as it has sunshine and the myth of a cheaper cost of living, the state will be a draw. But major employers will continue to shy away if they suspect the state is not committed to strengthening its water resources.

While the battle over the Verde River may leave the opposite impression, Arizona has been making strides, even setting an example for its surrounding states. Securing a future that includes an assurance of water in the desert will require even more than that.

Arizonans must decide now how much they are willing to invest in future generations. Or save future generations from a water crisis. Because the question of stable water infrastructure is just around the corner.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ Barnaby Wild
That's the way they taught it when I was in school, and that has been my experience since.

Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014
Article comment by: Barnaby Wild

Economics 101
As supply of a commodity (say clean water), decreases and demand for clean water Increases, the price of clean water will rise.

If we allow it to rise too high, too fast, the local economy will crash and average folk will need to move.

Maybe I'm wrong...but I don't think so...

Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Article comment by: Wacky Wacka:

Flooding young minds with a belief that "capitalism is all about the rental of money and the extraction of revenue...that does not pay wages nor purchase supplies and thus shackles growth" could explain why the ship of state is sinking.

Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Article comment by: Chris Jensen

Arizonans need to become familiar with the Strategic Vision report recently released by ADWR. It is pod that Verde Indep. highlights it on the from page, but Arizonans need to educate themselves about this critical resource.

Chris Jensen
Cottonwood, AZ

Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Article comment by: Wacka Wacka

@Barnaby Wild et. al.

No .. it is not "capitalism" that is "the best way to control demand is to raise or lower the unit price."

Anyone that has actually been in an economics class knows that is a false statement.

Demand controls supply and cost. Period. Capitalism has NOTHING to do with that mechanism.

Capitalism is all about the rental of money and the extraction of revenue from an enterprise. This is revenue that does not pay wages nor purchase supplies and thus shackles growth.

Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Article comment by: V V

How about investing in the Science of controlling the weather and production of water? Asking the people to conserve and go without to build another golf course or man made lake will not work any longer. I hear no explanation for the man made waste. V V will not conserve for Prescott to grow more. Infact, Prescott must find their own future water. Regulate the cost of water in phx, buy Rocky Point, Mexico and develop port and water source, Keep Verde Valley Alive with Old Home Town Values and Spirit

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Build baby build.

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: Barnaby Wild

I agree Bruce. In a capitalist country, the best way to control demand is to raise or lower the unit price.

If water is essentially free, it will be perceived as having little value and be overused and wasted.

If we raise the price of water (especially for large users), they will innovate ways to avoid waste and overuse.

The lower the watertable and the longer the drought, the higher the price must go!

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: Arizona is a leader in water management

There are three State agencies in Arizona that are exceptionally well managed, and for which I have a lot of respect: DPS (Highway Patrol), ADOT, and the ADWR.

These people know what they are doing, and the results show it.

In particular the city of Phoenix, wherein two-thirds of the State's population resides, has arguably one of the best conceived and managed water delivery systems in the world with the CAP and SRP. That's why they don't have a crisis, at least right now.

But it's a different story here in the Verde. We have neither the CAP nor SRP. We have no Big Chino. We have no water farms like Flagstaff, nor any additional sources of any kind from which to import more supplies.

We are entirely dependent on pumping from an underground aquifer with a limited capacity, and one that is already being unsustainably overdrawn, according to the ADWR.

This suggests we have much more of a problem here right now than the rest of the State does.

So no one should be surprised if the Verde Valley becomes Arizona's next Active Management Area.

Personally, I have no problem with that. Our water strategy should be permanent sustainability so that we live within our means now, and protect those supplies for future generations.

Regardless of what ADWR mandates, we here in the Verde should insist our local governments manage our water transparently, cooperatively, and within the limits of permanent safe yield.

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