Arizona Considers Water Pipeline From Mexico to Fight Drought

A bleached ‘bathtub ring’ is visible on the banks of Lake Mead on August 19, 2022 in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada.

A bleached ‘bathtub ring’ is seen on the banks of Lake Mead on August 19, 2022 in Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space, Nevada.
Photograph: Justin Sullivan (Getty Pictures)

In an effort to keep away from drawing extra water from the drought-stricken Colorado River, Arizona officers are wanting so far as Mexico for dependable water provide.

Arizona’s Water Infrastructure Finance Authority handed a non-binding decision this week in help of a giant desalination plant in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, Arizona Central reported. The concept was initially pitched to the state board by Israeli desalination specialists from IDE Technologies, who claimed {that a} desalination plant may change water that flows from the Colorado River by means of the Central Arizona Venture canal. The mission would deal with getting water to Pinal, Pima, and Maricopa counties.

IDE representatives plan on submitting an official proposal this week for environmental assessment. To maneuver ahead, the plan will want approval from Mexican officers as nicely, in response to Arizona Central, and IDE stated that it had mentioned a possible plan with the governor of Sonora, a state in Northern Mexico. In line with the IDE representatives, if their proposal passes environmental assessment and permits are granted, the mission may start producing water by 2027.

The Sea of Cortez is within the Gulf of California, nestled between Baja California and the Mexican state of Sonora, which is true below Arizona. This makes it a super location for a desalination plant. Communities in Mexico and the U.S. may each draw water from the mission whether it is authorized. As soon as the ocean water is desalinated, it’s going to journey from Mexico to Arizona by means of a sequence of pipelines. The freshwater would circulation into the U.S. within the Organ Pipe Nationwide Monument after which comply with State Route 85 and into Maricopa County, in response to Arizona Central. The water would additionally circulation to the town of Buckeye and into two new reservoirs in White Tank Mountains Regional Park. Previous that time, the freshwater would go into the Central Arizona Venture’s canal system, which gives water to five million individuals. Cities like Tucson and Phoenix would have entry to the water from there.

IDE representatives envisioned a desalination plant in Sonora that will value greater than $5 billion to assemble. As soon as accomplished, it will provide 300,000 acre-feet, which they are saying could be sufficient for greater than 1,000,000 households in Arizona. However this may value $2,500 per acre-foot (an acre-foot is over 325,000 gallons of water). If that water is combined with different sources, officers predict it’s going to solely elevate owners water payments a couple of {dollars} a month. The plant may be scaled as much as present as much as 1 million acre-feet. IDE would finance the development, however Arizona officers must decide to a 100-year buying settlement, Arizona Central reported.

A number of the board members fearful that the plans had been being pushed ahead too shortly. However boardmember Andy Tobin fearful about performing too slowly. “We’ve received of us working out of water,” he stated, in response to Arizona Central.

Tobin is true: Many communities across the state are in determined want of water options. Some individuals within the state could run out of water by the brand new yr. Rio Verde Foothills, an unincorporated group in Maricopa County, doesn’t have its personal water system. Residents depend on water trucked in from Scottsdale. However late final yr, Scottsdale introduced that it would stop hauling water there by the start of 2023.

Close by California has turned to desalination choices as nicely. This October, the California Coastal Fee authorized a $140 million desalination plant recommended for South Orange County at Doheny State Seashore. As soon as it’s up and working, the plant will have the ability to draw as much as 5 million gallons of water a day and supply water for greater than 30,000 individuals, in response to NBC Los Angeles.

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