Thursday, November 26, 2020 11:33 pm

As water sources dry up, Arizona farmers feel the heat of climate change

Knorr Farms owner Rob Knorr holding irrigation piping. / Civil Eats

Farms in central Arizona will soon lose access to Colorado River water, impacting farmers, cities, and Native communities.

By Meg Wilcox | Civil Eats

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Fall is a busy time for Knorr Farms, a family operation that grows peppers, corn, cotton, and other crops on 3,000 acres in Pinal County, one of Arizona’s top growing regions.

Owner Rob Knorr is preparing for a big October pepper harvest and mapping out plans for the next planting season—what to grow, where, and how. Water, as always, is the linchpin. Like other farmers in this parched county, which stretches for more than 5,300 square miles across the Sonoran Desert, Knorr depends entirely on irrigation water from the Colorado River. He receives it from the Central Arizona Project (CAP), a 336-mile canal system that Knorr calls the “lifeline to Arizona agriculture.”

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