Arizona’s Water Troubles

I am the type of journalist who loves a juicy, seemingly intractable political/policy problem. That’s why I love writing about water. But as a New Mexico water writer, I confess to a certain amount of envy at my colleagues to the west. Sure, we’ve got some tough water problems in our state. But they are limited, I think, by our relative poverty. We haven’t come as close to testing the boundaries of available supplies as folks in Arizona and California.

That’s a circuitous way of getting to Shaun McKinnon’s post yesterday afternoon on the state of Arizona’s efforts to reconcile the state’s growth curves with its dwindling water supplies:

In the back pages of a new report about Prescott’s future water supplies, the Arizona Department of Water Resources warns, in unmistakably clear terms, that, under the agency’s current authorities, the state will fail to meet its sustainable water resource goals without changes in the way water is managed.

The conclusions are significant and should be required reading for policy makers at every level of government, from city councils on up to the Legislature. One phrase in particular is important: The current structure will not only result in unmet goals, it “may over time move us farther away.”

What I’d really love would be the chance to write about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Now there’s a sweet story. Maybe I should start a blog about water or something. 🙂


  1. I get it. You like covering multi-car-train collisions. Blood and blame everywhere.

    If anything, AZ and CA reporters have job security. There’s no end to the stupid water policies coming out of these states.

  2. The issue is rather basic. Do you use regulation and coercion to stop the train before it runs off the tracks or do you use free market principles to pick up the survivors in ambulances?

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