How Can Tucson Manage Its Water Supply And Demand Essay

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• New storage capacity. • Water transfers. • Groundwater sources. • Desalination. • Recycling. • ‘Grey’ water. • Reducing consumption Tucson is located in the Sonoran Desert with few natural water resources. It receives 300mm or less of rainfall per year. Water supply has been an issue for over 100 years • Mules used in 1800s • Then wagons • Then Tucson Water Co. from 1881 using groundwater and piping it • Tucson Water Co came under city control from 1900. A growing city = growing demand and the city has a long range plan 2000-2050 to match supply and demand. • • New storage capacity. Reservoirs don’t seem feasible in this arid area. 48 reservoirs exist but mainly to store Colorado river water (delivered by the CAP) which in turn allow water to percolate and recharge the groundwater levels in aquifers. • Water transfers. Colorado River Water http://www.ci.tucson.az.us/water/docs/wp-overview.pdf Tucson’s portion of Colorado River water, about 44 billion gallons each year, comes to us through the Central Arizona Project canal. We currently use about 20 billion gallons of Colorado River water a year. Most of this supply is put into specially constructed basins in Avra Valley at the Clearwater Facility. Here the water sinks into the earth (recharges) and blends with the native groundwater beneath. This blend is then recovered by a number of wells and piped to the Tucson Water distribution system. The use of this blended water has let us reduce our reliance on groundwater. Tucson Water has put a number of wells in central Tucson on standby, allowing our water table to begin recovering from decades of over-pumping. As part of Water Decision 2006, Tucson Water customers will need to decide how we will use the remaining portion of our Colorado River water and of what quality we want that water to be when it is delivered to us. • Groundwater

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