There is an acknowledged gap between future water demand and supply available in Arizona. In some parts of Arizona, the gap exists today, where water users have been living on groundwater for a while, often depleting what can be thought of as their water savings account. In other places, active water storage programs are adding to water savings accounts. The picture is complicated by variability in the major factors affecting sources and uses of water resources.
Difficulties in describing the value of water are many. This Arroyo seeks to lay out those difficulties and then examine the concept of water’s value from various perspectives. The price of water is addressed first, as that is the first and most obvious aspect of value people in the United States encounter.
When the news reports on traces of birth control hormones or pain killers found in water, we do not know what to think. Is there any danger? How will these contaminants affect fish and other wildlife? Should we do something? What should we do? Many water contaminants are the subject of regulations that protect water quality, but many more fall into the category of substances for which we do not know the answer to these basic questions. These include substances that have been called emerging contaminants or contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).
Becky Witte, Susanna Eden, Placido dos Santos & Josue Sanchez Esqueda
The U.S-Mexico border is not only where two countries meet, but where different cultures face a common need for effective and sustainable use of the available resources. The management of resources and environmental hazards in this region is challenging. Agencies from both countries are addressing the challenge by participating in binational efforts to resolve the issues of water and air contamination, water resource allocation, and solid and hazardous waste disposal in the region.
The process of removing salts from water to produce fresh water is known as desalination. Available technology allows seawater or brackish groundwater, which can be found in large quantities, to be converted into clean, usable water. In water scare locations this has the potential to greatly increase the fresh water supply.
Water and energy are fundamental components of our 21st century life, but they can no longer be considered separately. Just as producing energy consumes water, pumping, treating and distributing water requires energy. In other words, water is an energy issue; energy is a water issue. Called the water-energy nexus, this interrelationship is beginning to receive the attention it merits. This Arroyo aims to provide comprehensive and timely information to support the public discussion of this important topic.
One of the keys to solving the West's water supply problems is finding smart, innovative ways to recycle water. The 2009 issue of Arroyo examines the many facets of water reuse: its history, regulation, treatment, and current uses. New strategies for water reuse, such as integrated water and wastewater systems, are descibed, along with the latest results of relevant university research projects.
Urbanization, channelization, groundwater depletion, irrigated agriculture, and a variety of other activities have significantly affected many of Arizona’s rivers, and citizens are awakening to the resulting problems. In contrast to their ecologically degraded counterparts, healthy, well-functioning rivers and wetlands are some of the most productive ecosystems in North America, providing habitat for wildlife, including many endangered species. They reduce flood peaks, are sinks for sediments and nutrients, provide water temperature control and groundwater recharge.
Faced with the significant challenge of groundwater overdraft, Arizona adopted groundwater recharge as a water management priority. This 12-page publication discusses early interest in recharge, describing legislative efforts to encourage and regulate projects and identifying significant issues relating to recharge such as water quality implications and control of subsidence as well as focusing on ongoing recharge projects.
When the state’s urban dwellers think of rural water resources – if they think of them at all – they most likely think of recreational opportunities, like fishing, boating and camping. Residents of rural areas of the state, however, are confronting a wide range of water issues, with ensuring sufficient supplies being the most critical issue. The rural water management strategy that is adopted must reflect the physical, social and cultural characteristics unique to the non-urban regions of Arizona.