Water and Sustainability in Arizona: A Mixed Record
Dr. Paul Hirt, Professor of History and Senior Sustainability Scholar, ASU
A billboard near Roosevelt Dam proclaimed in the 1960s: “Arizona Grows Where Water Flows.” But growth and the control of water to support it have never been simple uncontested endeavors. Efforts by Arizonans to secure water resources and to balance supply and demand have resulted in a mixed bag of successes and failures. This lecture examines the legal and historical context of water rights and water development in Arizona and the challenges we face in managing both surface and groundwater supplies sustainably in a warming and drying future.
Paul Hirt is an environmental historian and Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University, specializing in water, energy, and natural resources. He has published two monographs and dozens of articles and book chapters on environmental policy and conservation, including the recent “Water Consumption and Sustainability in Arizona: A Tale of Two Desert Cities.” He also serves as the State Scholar for the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street “Water/Ways” exhibit, which is traveling to twelve rural Arizona communities between 2018-2020. Dr. Hirt also serves as an elected member of the Board of Directors of Salt River Project.