With Colorado River cutbacks looming, a drought pipeline sparks ire in Phoenix

By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times

Katherine Roxlo lives on a quiet street in Madison Heights, in the shadow of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. On a morning in mid-December, she’d hired a crew to work on the patio behind her house, and they parked their pickup in the street, consuming a not-inconvenient chunk of the two-lane road.

A sign opposing the drought pipeline sits outside an entrance to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, which the pipeline would tunnel through.

To Roxlo, this minor, temporary obstacle offered a taste of the coming three years for her neighborhood, where the city of Phoenix plans to install a massive pipeline as a hedge against looming cuts to its water supply. Construction is expected to begin late in 2020.

The 66-inch pipeline (i.e. five and a half feet) would bring water from sources like the Salt River Project to some 400,000 people in north Phoenix, an area that currently depends on Colorado River water, a source that is dwindling as the Southwest enters its third decade of drought.

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