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October 22, 2019

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I'll repeat my letter to the editor published in the Republic this past weekend concerning Arizona water policy. It rests firmly on three principles: unwarranted assumptions, exuberant optimism, and denial.

If the price of water is commensurate with its scarcity, or lack thereof, then water will flow. Albeit, it might not be as ample or cheap as it is today.

Agreed with Joe. There is incredible waste involved in the transportation of water, the storage of water and the use of water are staggering, both in the West and in places like the City of New York, about which a New Yorker article was written in 2003 that I found fascinating: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/09/01/city-of-water.

I think the decades of inaction show that only market forces will ever effect change on this issue because water is still extremely cheap and it's just so hard to win votes by talking about this issue.

We've seen in the remarkably subsident Central Valley of California (some of which has subsided over 10 feet in the last century century) that nothing seems to be able to stop groundwater pumping, even in one of the most liberal states in the union. The pumping is even more unrestrained in Ogallala states.

Water is absolutely an essential for life, but less than 1% of the water we purchase from our municipalities enters our bodies.

It is wasted because it is cheap and easy to waste. I don't think it is out of any spite or forethought by water users; it's just so cheap and easy they don't think much about it. I imagine once it becomes more expensive, people will be more invested in making concerted efforts at water conservation.

My biggest water-related concern isn't running out of water for human or agricultural use, but the byproducts of the changes in our water system, such as the environmental disaster that is a shrinking Salton Sea. This problem exists in part because farmers are wasting less water and so the lake is shrinking ever faster.

I believe the Salton may be one of the biggest water-related threats to our health and well-being. The health impacts of the air quality in Imperial County have already proven to be devastating and I fear it could spread to other places, like the Valley.

As market forces lead more effective conservation of water, secondary consequences will emergy all over the region and I am sure humanity hasn't even anticipated all of them yet.

Not only did they plat every square inch, they removed the ability of counties to actually do land use planning. Property could not be downzoned without the owner's permission.

Tricia, Thank you for all your intensive activity in trying to save the planet from concrete and asphalt.
I look forward to moving
back to a place
near the San Pedro River.

I'd pay to see Elon Musk drink his pee...

Jon,I am curious about your statement that "The canard that replacing cotton fields with subdivisions would be a net water win has long been disproved."

Can you cite a source for this? I don't believe this is correct. Although they would never admit it publicly, in my dealings with SRP over the years it, it's implicit in their management. There has never been much pressure on water supplies despite decades of drought.

In fact, AZ uses less water than it did 60 years ago: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-environment/2019/02/12/arizona-water-usage-state-uses-less-now-than-1957/2806899002/

SRP acknowleges as much in that article. When I think about a cotton field that requires 7 feet of water to grow a crop, I can't grasp that urban use comes anywhere close to that.

Well Doggie just envision Arizona as a Roadless Wilderness rather than an place over ran by humans.
And
If you plan on shopping at the Fry's in AJ,i suggest you go about 10pm. An hour ago the parking lot had no asphalt parking spaces left including the folks sitting in their idling vehicles waiting for store staff to bring their groceries out.
They are back! The soil bankers, the snowbirds and thousands of questionably legal Canadians.
Ajo looks better every day.
PS, doggie once upon a time one could float a boat up the San Pedro River from Mexico to San Manuel AZ.
And as for SRP and the like to get the facts you need a CI not a PIO.

Pushing the Malthus.
Push past the gibberish to the comments section.
https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2019/october/against-malthus

In the Rogue Phoenix and Arizona news column, Mesa is building a 70 million dollar pipe to the Salt River Indigenous Nation. This will allow Mesa to keep sprawling as it is still the practice that it takes at least five (5) kids to get into Heaven.

LoL- I worked on this issue from 2005-2015, and we all knew that delaying the phaseout of the water credits from agriculture would make the long term situation untenable, but hey, the speculators gotta dance. Even DWR staff would comment off the record that the delay was entirely political, and absolutely not based on the science.

The real truth is the value of the land falls with every overdraft of water supply by those idiot farmers, but then they gotta do *something* to stay afloat while they await the great subdivision investor morons.

The real truth is agriculture in Pinal County is doomed, as it is throughout Arizona beyond using surplus water from the canals in Wellton. And the houses are the end game- and then splat when the water shuts off in Johnsonville.

Meanwhile, they fantasize about buying CRIT water, or pumping more recharged water, LOL.

Go back and see the unspoken stuff, and you realize it is simply the longest scam, and the insiders will become very rich, while the old retirement suckers will have their water rationing.

2030 is when the jig is up, and the AzRep soft pedaled the report, which wasn't critical enough.

Thanks Allen.
And the Arizona Republic management of the news began its decline of strong investigative reporting in 76. Its a mere shadow with very few real reporters.
Even Benson is gone.
Ah yes it was a great time at the old building loading docks. The smell of newsprint an Nick Kondora yelling at the drivers and loaders to get loaded and down the road so readers could have their paper and coffee in the rising sun.

I changed careers to get into this arena over a year ago.
Let's see ... the cotton fields to suburbs is a push in the legislature to authorized a 'farm to municipal' transition that would bypass the 100 year assured water supply designation requirement.

Amazing how when we need regulation the most, these guys are trying to roll it back.

The group in Pinal that is supposed to be a meeting of local stakeholders is more or less a gathering of real estate developers and Rep David Cook. A conspiracy was floated that the Governor was being bought off by the Gila River Indian Community so he would support them over the white people in the county.

If anyone cared, I think a good solution would be to establish Coops between the cities and the farming communities. The cities could provide resources like electricity and better irrigation equipment and the farms would send the majority of their crops to the cities (or to dairy farms/chicken farms/etc that would feed the cities as well).

There are no more new sources of water. It's time to stop those pipe dreams and start looking at a cultural change. But I know that business and the 2 political parties are all about extracting all they can from this state.

Pinal is doomed, I fear. They already announced they will mine water until depletion.

Cal- azmirror.com is (Steve) Benson's new home. Great stuff there. Benson's Corner is a state treasure, I think.

Thanks Rog. You ole timer!

Phoenix, we have a problem.

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