The ground is stabilizing under Tucson and Phoenix, but sinking faster than ever under many rural farming areas around the state.
The phenomenon known as land subsidence is showing a two-way trend due to differences in the kinds of water supplies and water management used in varying regions, officials say.
Subsidence has been a problem in Arizona for decades. It’s the collapsing of the soil due to chronic pumping that exceeds the rate the aquifer is replenished by rainfall and other sources.
But today, where state regulations on pumping are stricter and renewable supplies are available — such as Tucson — it’s getting better. In places like Willcox in Southeast Arizona’s Cochise County, and in parts of La Paz County in Western Arizona, where such regulations and renewable waters are non-existent, it’s getting worse.