What can Arizona learn from California’s drought and mandatory water cuts?

Opinion: A record-setting drought is hitting northern California with particular vengeance. There are lessons for Arizona in that. 

By Joanna Allhands | Arizona Republic

Arizona has water issues. 

But they are not nearly as deep or widespread as those pummeling northern California.

Some areas there are facing mandatory 40% cuts in use. In Redwood Valley, residents have been asked to live on 55 gallons a day – barely enough to take a bath and flush the toilet a few times.

Meanwhile, thousands of farmers and others – even those with senior water rights – have been barred from diverting water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. As have irrigators along the Klamath River near the Oregon border, which also is seeing massive numbers of fish die.

Officials for the first time shut down a major hydroelectric plant on Lake Oroville because of low water levels, a move some feared would add to rolling blackouts.

And the governor is warning that mandatory, statewide cuts could be in the offing, impacting residents in Los Angeles and San Diego, which so far have been insulated from the pain.

That has lessons for Arizona.

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