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Will We Have Enough Water?

Water conservation is common practice in this very dry state. If you’ve lived in Arizona for any amount of time, you know we have a declining water supply.

But what measures are we taking to ensure enough water for decades to come?

Carbon-Free Electricity

Arizona Public Service (APS) is committed to carbon-free electricity. Since they are amongst the only companies that received a double-A score for their climate and water stewardship, they have a goal by 2050 to be 100 percent clean and carbon-free.

Carbon-free energy is the energy that is produced by generating no carbon emissions; the thing our cars emit. Hydroelectric plants are one of the ways Arizona is using this type of energy. As the water flows into the dam, it flows through a narrow pipe then pushes against turn blades in a turbine to spin a generator and produce electricity. The Hoover Dam and the Glen Canyon Dam were constructed for such resources. Our water supply comes from these dams through our canals. Learn more about our canals HERE.

Battery Energy Storage

The APS utility has been adding battery energy storage to its solar plants and expanding its renewable energy. They have signed an agreement that purchased 200 megawatts of additional wind energy. This has helped reduce the amount of groundwater consumption by 22 percent from 2014 to 2019. This utility is also used at Palo Verde Generating Station, the largest generator of carbon-free electricity in the U.S.

Reforestation

The Salt River Project (SRP) has created the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, which replenishes the state’s water supply through a massive public-private reforestation. Reforestation helps with climate change. More trees mean less heat. They absorb the carbon dioxide that would otherwise be put back into the air. If the temperatures can stay consistent and lower, less energy would be used. This allows SRP to refrain from tapping into more water consumption that’s used for energy.

Plan in Advance

EPCOR is the proven leader in managing our water supply. They have secured up to 5.87 billion gallons of water supplies by signing an agreement with Maricopa Water District. This adds to the amount of surface and groundwater offered to Valley residents.  

Join the Cause

Be conscientious and use common sense when using water. Phoenix is now considered to be the hottest city, according to national climate data. With heat comes less water. But if you are practicing conservation, you are headed in the right direction.

We all have to share this desert and showing a little care can go a long way.

To learn more about water conservation, CLICK HERE.

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Around Arizona

The History of Arizona Canals

Lakes Mead & Powell on the Colorado River are the sources of water for Fountain Hills residents. The water from Lake Mead makes a long journey of 336 miles across central and southern Arizona to supply 80-percent of the state’s population by way of canals. These canals are maintained by the Central Arizona Project (CAP).

After the turn of the Twentieth Century, the seven states that share the Colorado River Basin entered an agreement to allocate shares of the river’s water. This led to the construction of both Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Colorado River Basin Project Act. This authorized the construction of CAP by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. This new system provided a way for Arizona’s allotment of water from the Colorado River to be delivered to the most populous areas of Arizona while reducing the use of groundwater for agriculture and other activities.

The construction of the CAP system started in 1973 at Lake Havasu. It was completed south of Tucson twenty years later at a cost of more than $4 billion.

The CAP is an engineering marvel. Water enters the system at Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant where it lifts the water more than 800 feet from Lake Havasu into the 7-mile long Buckskin Mountain Tunnel. It flows into the open canal where it continues its journey across the state. Over the course of the entire system, it gets lifted more than 2,900 feet in total elevation. There are fourteen pumping plants, a hydroelectric pump/generating plant at New Waddell Dam (Lake Pleasant), 39 radial gate structures to control the flow of water, and more than 50 turnouts to deliver water.

The canal loses about 1-percent of its annual flow each year to evaporation. Depending on flow, the water takes 5-7 days to go from the beginning to the end of the aqueduct. It has more than 80 long-term water users, including municipal and industrial customers, agricultural users, and Native American tribes.

Few natural resources are as precious as water. The Central Arizona Project provides reliable, renewable water from the Colorado River. This makes Arizona’s economy stronger, and residents can enjoy a higher quality of life.

Learn more about the Central Arizona Project at cap-az.com.