Arizona needs a water law expert on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District
- I am running for the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board of Directors because I care about water, sustainability and the future of Arizona.
- I want to help solve Arizona’s water challenges and believe that my background and experience make me uniquely qualified to serve on the Board.
- I believe that Arizona is at a pivotal point in deciding how it will use its water resources in the future, and I’d like to push the needle in the direction of water conservation, watershed preservation and clean energy in a fiscally responsible way.
The Central Arizona Water Conservation District and the Central Arizona Project:
- The CAWCD operates and manages the 336 mile long Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal, which delivers Arizona’s Colorado River water supplies to Maricopa, Pinal and Pima Counties as well as southern Arizona Indian Tribes. Visit www.cap-az.com to learn more.
- The most important role of the CAWCD is ensuring water security for Arizonans – safe, secure, affordable water supplies for present and future generations, while also protecting the Colorado River.
- About 40% of our water supply comes from the Colorado River.
Three Main Challenges Facing the CAWCD:
- Arizona and other Colorado River users are facing water shortages because we are in a 16 year drought, the longest on record, and the river system is over-allocated, creating a structural deficit, where demand always exceeds supply. The CAP will take shortages first, before California and Nevada, because we agreed to have the lowest priority right in order to get CAP approved in Congress. Arizona used to have a surplus of CAP water because it wasn't using its full entitlement. Since we no longer have a surplus of CAP water, the CAWCD should consider water conservation as well as innovative technology solutions.
Continued Urban Growth:
- The Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) was created as a compromise so that developers would support the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ Assured Water Supply rules. At the time it was created, Arizona was trying to find ways to fully utilize its Colorado River allocation. The CAGRD has grown considerably and no longer has excess supply to recharge. Also, the CAGRD has allowed many new developments to occur utilizing groundwater that is not hydrologically connected to the area where water is being recharged. The CAWCD should consider reforming the CAGRD so that we allow wise growth within the limits of our water supply.
- The CAP is the largest user of electricity in the state, and the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), a coal-fired power plant, provides about 90% of its energy. However, the NGS is the third largest emitter of carbon in the country, and CAWCD must find alternative energy supplies. While CAWCD should continue to pursue innovative and cost-effective technologies to make coal-fired power cleaner, it should also diversify its energy portfolio to include clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind.
Creative, Pragmatic Solutions to our Water Challenges with Long-Term, Measurable Results:
Conservation measures such as -
- a conservation fund to promote watershed restoration and river health
- water pricing policies that encourage wise water use
CAGRD reforms such as -
- alowing CAGRD to reject new members if there are not sufficient supplies for recharge
- requiring that withdrawals and recharge occur in the same area of hydrologic impact
Renewable energy proposals such as -
- a solar power project that provides energy to the canal
- new technologies that cost-effectively reduce carbon emissions from the NGS