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AZ Begins to See the End of Water

Groundwater can’t be replaced anytime soon.

This story was recently published in the New York Times: “Arizona Limits Construction Around Phoenix as Its Water Supply Dwindles.”

There are still 80,000 building permits in the state, but the realization that water is a finite resource is starting to settle in in Arizona.

In summary, this is how the article begins, “Arizona has determined that there is not enough groundwater for all of the housing construction that has already been approved in the Phoenix area, and will stop developers from building some new subdivisions, a sign of looming trouble in the West and other places where overuse, drought and climate change are straining water supplies.

“The decision by state officials very likely means the beginning of the end to the explosive development that has made the Phoenix area the fastest growing metropolitan region in the country.

“The state said it would not revoke building permits that have already been issued and is instead counting on new water conservation measures and alternative sources ...”

This is just the beginning. Watch for much more draconian actions to come in the months and years ahead.

Note to the wise: I would not be moving to Arizona. Housing prices may go up initially, but then will fall drastically when the taps start running dry and you can only shower every other day.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.