November 2014, Issue 88: Editor’s Notes

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In the coming months, some important questions affecting the price and availability of water in Arizona may be resolved at the federal, state, and basin levels.

Federal

  • With a Republican majority in both the Senate and the House, will Congress legislatively “fix” the current confusion over which “waters of the U.S.” are regulated by the Clean Water Act? When we will know: during the new Congressional session, 2015 or 2016.
  • How will the cost to move water in Arizona be affected by pending EPA rules for greenhouse gas emissions and by the measures plants take to deal with coal combustion emissions? When we will know: early 2015.

State

  • Will a new legislature and governor in Arizona usher in a new era of water legislation and agency management? When we will know: first half of 2015.
  • Will CAP and Reclamation enable the wheeling of other water supplies through the CAP canal? When we will know: uncertain, but possibly in 2015.
  • The Fourth Management Plans, technically due in 2010 to cover a 10-year period, are complete for only one of the five AMAs. Will ADWR prioritize the completion of these AMA guidance documents? When we will know: sometime in 2015.

Colorado River Basin

  • How wet/dry will this year be in the Colorado River basin? Will a shortage be declared for 2016? When we will know: winter storms and spring runoff events; August 1 for shortage declaration.
  • Will New Mexico divert its allocation of 14,000 AF/yr from the Gila River and reduce downstream flows to Arizona? When we will know: December 31, 2014 (the deadline for making a decision).

Juliet M. McKenna, MS, PG