By Aaron Dorman | Pinal Central
COOLIDGE — When officials with the Central Arizona Project and Arizona Department of Water Resources announced near-guaranteed CAP water reductions last Thursday, they stressed that the state was prepared for the crisis.
“This is a day we knew would come at some point,” said CAP General Manager Ted Cooke. “We’ve been preparing for this for decades.”
Cooke maintained that the state had “innovation conservation agreements” for the potential Tier 1 shortage status in 2022, although he did call it a “painful reduction to Arizona.”
Despite the ameliorative tone from state agencies, others believe that the nature of the crisis has been understated. In particular, the notion that groundwater can supplant CAP water resources for irrigation is a fallacy.
According to Prescott-based ecologist Joe Trudeau, depleting more groundwater would quickly devastate Arizona ecosystems and eventually threaten the viability of communities as well.
“Every ounce of water pulled out of aquifers or the Colorado River is water not available for wildlife or natural vegetation,” Trudeau said. “We are rapidly sucking the life out of Arizona in terms of how we use water.”