U.S. Water News Online
PHOENIX -- Arizona needs to adopt a "culture of
conservation'' but there's no reason to panic because of the
possibility of a shortage of Colorado River water, Gov. Janet
Reacting to a top U.S. Interior Department official's recent
statement that the agency could declare a shortage of river water
within two or three years if a years-long drought continues,
Napolitano said her administration is staying on top of the future of
A shortage declaration could force a cut in water drawn from the
river and Arizona would be first in line among Colorado River states
to have part of its allotment disappear.
The Central Arizona Project aqueduct transports Colorado River
water to cities and other users in central and southern Arizona.
Arizona cities also use pumped groundwater and runoff water stored in
Napolitano noted during a news conference that no shortage has
been declared yet, and she said the effect of a shortage declaration
would not be felt for a year.
The governor said a state task force is preparing recommendations
on coping with the drought and that Arizona already can drawn on
underground stored "water bank'' reserves if a shortage is declared.
"We do have a plan in place,'' she said. "I've been looking into
this situation. For the short term, this is not a matter for panic.
We are well aware of what's happening on the Colorado.''
Napolitano said the state is "far away'' from having to impose
growth restrictions because of water supply issues.
"Nonetheless ... we need to start believing in a culture of
conservation so that we can make better use of the waters that we
have,'' she said.
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