Arizona’s on the hunt for new water, and it won’t be cheap.
Tony Davis covered this week’s meeting of the folks working on the program with one of my all time favorite government acronyms – Project ADD Water (that’s Acquisition, Development and Delivery). It’s the planning effort among Central Arizona Project players to find new sources of water to slake their state’s thirst. As Tony reports, it won’t be cheap:
David Modeer, the former Tucson Water director who now is CAP’s general manager, said the additional supplies’ costs aren’t known for sure today. But desalinated brackish groundwater could cost $500 to $600 an acre-foot, for instance. Buying water from farmers along the Colorado could cost up to $3,000 to $6,000 an acre-foot, he said.
“Modeer said he didn’t know exactly how much more the costly water would increase a utility customer’s monthly bill.
(A note of confusion – are Modeer’s numbers for buying water rights from farmers a single years’ worth of water, or is that the cost of transferring a permanent water right?)
The most interesting thing to me is the simple fact that such a process exists in Arizona. I was in Phoenix last fall and went to one of the ADD Water meetings. What you had was a group of people getting together once a week from all the different water agencies to talk about how to address their long term water needs.
Note to my New Mexico friends with whom I’ve been discussing this – As important as the particular solutions they might come up with is the fact that they’re engaged in a serious conversation, with institutional players at the table, week after week.