Scottsdale in the Crosshairs of Water Crisis – Will It Impact Our Livability?

Photo Credit: Circle of Blue

In what is absolutely zero surprise to you, we all live in a desert. Water has always been and will always be an issue for Arizonans, one that we don’t shy away from talking about. But now Scottsdale is even more in the crosshairs of this significant subject.

Ground Zero for this issue is currently in the Rio Verde Foothills, which gets its water trucked in from Scottsdale. They recently got the very unnerving news that those water deliveries will stop at the end of this year due to the recent drought declarations. For its part, the city of Scottsdale stated that it was doing them a favor, but now needs to look after its own needs. 

While we appreciate that Scottsdale puts its citizens first, one has to wonder what the people in the Rio Verde Foothills will do going forward. One also has to wonder what will happen if the drought continues, and what the impact of that will be to Scottsdalians and people across the Valley.

This also comes under the backdrop of a relatively recent report that anticipates that Lake Mead will drop another 34 feet in the next two years. As a major source of both our water and hydroelectric power, the lake’s level has been a point of extensive hand-wringing for years as it is now at the lowest point in recorded history.

The additional backdrop is the exploding population of Arizona. Tens of thousands of people move here every month, sometimes from less water-scarce places as the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest, tight supplies are further constrained as water cannot simply be built as easy as new homes are built on the outskirts of the Valley.

We are now just seeing the very first examples of this problem coming to light, and without major reversals in Lake Mead and other reservoirs, it will only get worse. We would be well served by resolving the issues that we can as soon as we can, including but not limited to limiting new development in undeveloped areas. Pretty soon, Mother Nature may tell us that it cannot support more Californians, but it would be best if it did not come to that.