On Wednesday, September 28, Central Arizona Project (CAP) representatives hosted a roundtable for state water users to discuss the proposed CAP conservation incentive program. Earlier this year, the CAP board said they would “work with stakeholders to develop a conservation incentive program that is consistent with [CAP] legal authority.” This roundtable provided an opportunity for stakeholders to share ideas and provide information so CAP can develop an effective program.
Thousands in Phoenix Living without Running Water
The Arizona Republic newspaper last Sunday drew on a recent report about plumbing poverty for a feature article on the subject. The report, co-authored by Kings College London professor and UArizona alum Katie Meehan, looked in depth at urban plumbing poverty in the United States. Meehan received her PhD from the UArizona Department of Geography and Development in 2010 and began her study of plumbing poverty while in Arizona. The Kings College London report estimated that throughout metro Phoenix, at least 6,200 households live with incomplete plumbing, meaning they lack hot and cold running water, an indoor shower or bathtub, a flush toilet, or some combination. Another report from January, cited in the article, found more than 9,000 homeless people in Maricopa County, many of whom lack regular access to running water and sanitation. Lack of access to running water, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is an ongoing problem in other parts of Arizona as well. A previous Weekly Wave story highlights efforts to provide safe water to vulnerable residents in the Navajo Nation.
In the Kings College London report, Meehan and coauthors found that in the US, 73% of the roughly 460,000 households without piped running water in their homes live in metropolitan areas. Of the 15 largest US metropolitan areas studied, Phoenix has the ninth-highest rate of residents living in plumbing poverty. New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco had the highest rates, but while New York City and Los Angeles have seen those levels decline, Phoenix’s rates were essentially unchanged from 2000 to 2017. The report found the highest plumbing poverty among renters, households of color, and areas where income inequality is expanding. The cost of water and utility shutoffs for non-payment drive some into urban plumbing poverty, the Republic reported. “Across the country, water utilities stopped shutoffs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as public health experts emphasized the importance of handwashing to prevent the spread of the virus…. In Arizona, where water policy is decentralized, municipal water utilities have differed in timelines to start shutoffs again.” Some US cities are trying to permanently ban water shutoffs. To avoid total shutoffs, Phoenix uses low-flow devices that reduce water flow from 30 gallons per minute to just 0.4 gallons per minute.
WRRC post-doctoral researcher Valerisa Gaddy has been selected as an MIT Solve Fellow for 2022-2023. Her tech-based solution, "IRRIGaTE: Irrigation Resources Reaching Indigenous Growers and Tribal Entities” addresses the difficulties of science and policy communication between Tribal farmers and non-tribal policymakers through a multimedia platform.
The Arizona Republic newspaper last Sunday drew on a recent report about plumbing poverty for a feature article on the subject. The report, co-authored by Kings College London professor and UArizona alum Katie Meehan, looked in depth at urban plumbing poverty in the United States. Meehan received her PhD from the UArizona Department of Geography and Development in 2010 and began her study of plumbing poverty while in Arizona.
Last week, WRRC staff member Jessie Hampton visited family in rural southwestern Colorado. She stayed along Cebolla Creek, which flows down to meet the Gunnison River in Blue Mesa Reservoir, one of three reservoirs that make up the Curecanti Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project. Local ranchers use their water rights on Cebolla Creek to irrigate hay meadows. Jessie took photos of places she visited on her trip to showcase different types of water usage and management in the area.
Northern Arizona is celebrating Colorado River Days! Colorado River Days Flagstaff is a series of educational events to remind Flagstaff and surrounding communities about the importance of the Colorado River and all it has to offer