Water conservation is becoming an increasingly well discussed topic in the United States. As the drought in California continues to increase in severity, other states are beginning to wonder what would happen to them in the event of a devastating drought. The fact of the matter is, some states are better prepared than others. Lucky for residents of Arizona, they live in one of the best prepared states in the Nation.
Arizona Water Banking Authority
This institution, which was established all the way back in 1996, was created to help build up Arizona’s stores of reserve water. Each year Arizona is afforded a massive quantity of Colorado River water, based off of a nationally establish entitlement. Arizona is member of the Lower Basin States, a group that also includes California and Nevada. Each state is designated a portion of Colorado River water. Arizona stores unused river water in massive underground aquifers, which save the water for a rainy (or rather, not rainy) day.
Central Arizona Project
The Central Arizona Project is the cornerstone of Arizona’s massive water conservation system. The water which is saved by the Arizona Water Banking Authority, is brought to Arizona by the CAP. The ambitious project delivers 1.5 million acre-feet of water from the Colorado River to Southern Arizona every single year. The project is a compilation of 336 miles of tunnels, pipelines, and aqueducts which begins its journey in Lake Havasu, and continues all the way to the San Xavier Indian Reservation in southwest Arizona.
The Central Arizona Project, combined with the Arizona Water Banking Authority, have placed Arizona in an excellent situation should a severe drought ever strike us. Projections seem good, as the Bureau of Reclamations has recently reported that projections for Colorado River water levels look positive for both 2016, and 2017.