Water lies at the core of Arizona’s economy, lifestyle, and identity. Clean, reliable water supplies are critical for Arizona communities and our economy. Companies from all regions and sectors of Arizona’s economy play an active role in advocating in support of policy to secure Arizona’s water future. We bring the business voice to issues of groundwater security, drought contingency planning, policy on conservation and efficiency and funding river health initiatives. We also participate in the Water for Arizona coalition, a community of Arizonans who support innovative practices and smart policies to ensure a reliable water supply to meet the state’s needs.
PROTECTING ARIZONA’S GROUNDWATER
No matter where you are in Arizona, a predictable water supply is critical for a healthy and growing economy, and we need to be sure that we’re taking care of groundwater in the rural areas in the same way that we’re taking care of water in the urban areas. In 2020 we released a study that quantifies the outsized effects of groundwater on the economy in Arizona. The study shows that over a 9 year period (2010-2018) groundwater accounted for an annual average of 43% of the state’s GDP and $1.2 trillion to the state economy over the nine year period. This report underscores how critical groundwater is for Arizona’s continued growth and economic development.
Additionally, in 2021 we surveyed realtors to gauge how they think diminished groundwater supplies will impact real estate in two rural areas of the state that don’t currently have groundwater protections. That study found that with severe drought conditions, rural homeowners on municipal water supplies can expect up to a 12% reduction in the value of their homes. Watch coverage of the study from Phoenix ABC 15 here.
We need smart and forward-looking water planning that includes groundwater management across the entire state. Counties outside of Active Management Areas (AMAs) need more tools to manage their precious water resources. Stewarding groundwater in rural Arizona will help communities prevent the drying up of wells, rivers, and springs, all of which rely on groundwater. We must act now to protect Arizona’s groundwater supplies.
DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLANNING- COLORADO RIVER AVAILABILITY
In an effort to bolster the drastically-reduced levels in Lake Mead, in 2020 we helped facilitate a nearly $4 million investment from corporations and matching funds supporting the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ (CRIT) contribution of 150,000 acre feet to Mead through the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). Businesses are coming to the table to fund long-term solutions to ensure the resiliency of the state’s water resources and the economy
As we continue to see annual declines in the Colorado River system and Tier I shortages, it’s imperative that we also make investments that promote aggressive conservation, recycling and reuse, stormwater and groundwater recharge, and forest restoration to ensure that our headwater areas continue to deliver clean, reliable flows. Businesses scrutinize water risk—and public perception of risk IS water risk for businesses and companies. Our task now is to modernize the way we think about water.
Finding the right solutions to our state’s water challenges will require active participation and a commitment to sustainable solutions from both state leadership and local business and community leaders. Businesses are coming to the table to fund long term solutions to ensure the resiliency of the state’s water resources and the economy.
OTHER ARIZONA RESOURCES
The Colorado River is vital to the economies of the seven-state region through which it flows. An Arizona State University study documents that the Colorado River supports $1.4 trillion in economic output, $871 billion in wages and 16 million jobs annually. In Arizona that equates to $185 billion and over 2 million jobs.
LATEST NEWS ON ARIZONA WATER
AZ could use drought technology that helped Israel, Arizona Capitol Times
OUR ARIZONA TEAM
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OTHER NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
AZ could use drought technology that helped Israel, Arizona Capitol Times- Op/Ed by our partners at NDrip