Drought limits construction in Arizona
Water management officials explained Thursday that Phoenix, which is developing at a rapid pace, suffers from a shortage of water, and in addition to underground reserves, other water sources must be relied upon for construction.
The Arizona Water Agency has warned that in the next 100 years, approximately six billion cubic meters of the city’s groundwater will disappear due to drought.
The climate in the western part of the United States has become increasingly dry over the past 20 years, a process that experts say has been exacerbated by climate change. The area’s largest rivers, including the Colorado River, have long been overused because more water is lifted from them annually than the amount of rain and snow that falls in the area. This is causing lakes and reservoirs to dry up, like Lake Mead, which suddenly decreased by a quarter last year.
Since there is an overload on the rivers, the cities are used to extract water from the aquifers for construction and agriculture. However, this source also has its limitations, as it can take thousands of years to replenish.
Arizona authorities said building permits already issued in Phoenix will not be revoked, but in the case of new applications, builders must prove they use water sources other than groundwater. Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States with a population of five million.
There have been attempts to reduce water consumption in the region before: at the end of May, for example, seven states that use water from the Colorado River signed an agreement to reduce consumption. Colorado provides water to about forty million people and irrigate millions of acres of farmland.
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