Category Archives: Editorials

January 2014, Issue 79: Editor’s Notes

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A wet fall in the Upper Basin may have postponed a shortage declaration for another year, but a shortage during the next decade is looking more and more likely. Once again, we consider the possibility of a Colorado River shortage declaration. With shortage conditions looming, we’ll return to this topic periodically throughout 2014. In December, […]

December 2013, Issue 78: Editor’s Notes

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Fasten your seat belts! This month, M&A’s Mark Myers draws a potent analogy between CAP water rates and amusement park rides.   I’ve been doing water policy work for about 30 years now — since long before the CAP system was completed. For many of those years, CAP rate cycles were like a Disney Fantasyland […]

November 2013, Issue 77: Editors’ Notes

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Recent trends in water demand are challenging some long-held assumptions of Southwest municipal providers and planners. September’s AHS symposium focused on “recalibrating the hydrologic approach,” challenging participants to question some of their long-held beliefs about water. The first plenary session (which featured Grady Gammage, Jr., and M&A’s Gary Woodard) explored how existing assumptions can lead […]

October 2013, Issue 76: Editor’s Notes

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When it comes to enhanced aquifer recharge, ADWR will need to reconsider its one-size-fits-all approach. “Enhanced aquifer recharge” refers to an ADWR proposal to modify its formula for allocating recharge credits through the state’s Underground Water Storage program. The program currently dedicates — or “cuts” — 5 percent of recharge credits to the aquifer for […]

September 2013, Issue 75: Editor’s Notes

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For Pinal County, a pause in growth gave planners a rare opportunity to evaluate water supplies and prepare for the future. Water management in many areas of Arizona is often complicated by rapid growth, diverse landowner interests, and overlapping regulatory jurisdictions. These challenges are readily apparent in Pinal County, where the population doubled in each […]

August 2013, Issue 74: Editor’s Notes

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To reduce dependence on imported water, communities in California are following Arizona’s lead and taking a second look at contaminated groundwater supplies. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) is planning to undertake a large project that involves treating contaminated groundwater for use […]

July 2013, Issue 73: Editor’s Notes

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Modifying Colorado River operations may be a low-cost, feasible way to augment water supplies, but is it politically palatable? Last December, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation completed the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study. This 3-year study sets a new baseline for water planning in the Basin, incorporating input from states, tribes, environmental […]

June 2013, Issue 72: Editor’s Notes

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Recent actions affecting the San Pedro River highlight key differences in state and federal laws for regulating water. Arizona regulates surface water and groundwater independently, artificially dividing two resources that are naturally linked. Both stakeholders and the courts recognize that this approach is often imperfect, and they have been working for decades to find a […]

May 2013, Issue 71: Editors’ Notes

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The Colorado River’s low flows and Lake Mead’s photogenic bathtub rings are again making headlines — but the most vulnerable component of Arizona’s water supply system today is its power supply. The latest projections for spring–summer runoff into Lake Powell (a good measure of hydrologic conditions in the Colorado River Basin), indicate that 2013 flows will […]

April 2013, Issue 70: Editors’ Notes

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New federal regulatory standards are looming for hexavalent chromium. What will this mean for Arizona? The EPA’s evolving efforts to set a standard for hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) may have profound implications for Arizona groundwater suppliers. Currently, public water systems are only required to meet the standard for total chromium (100 parts per billion [ppb], set […]