How Arizona’s water situation could affect its housing growth

By Jeremy Duda | Axios

Tom Buschatzke, director of Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), tells Axios that the state has enough water to meet its housing growth, though “it’s probably not obvious.”

Yes, but: That doesn’t mean homebuilding in the Valley won’t face new restrictions in the near future.
The big picture: The most populous cities in the Phoenix area are all part of the ADWR’s Assured Water Supply Program.

Phoenix, Tempe and others are heavily reliant on the Salt River Project, which hasn’t been impacted by the drought.

Other municipalities, that don’t have access to the same resources are part of the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD), which replaces groundwater with other sources.

Yes, and: There are other sources of water that cities could tap into for housing growth, and others could be on the way.

Queen Creek is moving forward with a plan to buy water from Colorado River farmland, which Buschatzke said could be an option for other cities.

There are basins and other non-groundwater supplies such as the Harquahala Basin, west of the Valley, though it has issues with agriculture-related nitrate concentrations that must be addressed.

The newly empowered Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) board will have $1.2 billion over the next three years to fund projects, including desalination, that could bring new supplies to the state.


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