Arizona will no longer certify new developments within the Phoenix area as groundwater supplies have been rapidly disappearing after years of overuse and drought driven by the climate crisis. A report from the Arizona Department of Water Resources found that there is not enough groundwater under Phoenix to meet projected demand over the next 100 years, a troubling warning for the nation’s fifth-largest city with around 5 million residents. Terry Goddard, a former Phoenix mayor, told the Washington Post that the message of the study is: “[Arizonans are] living on borrowed water.
“You need to be conscious of every drop,” he said. “You can’t build unless you know exactly where the water is coming from.” Developers must now show they have enough water to last 100 years before building a subdivision in much of Arizona, but as the climate gets hotter and dries up major water resources like the Colorado River, new developments become even riskier.
The Phoenix area uses roughly 2 billion gallons of water a day – more than twice as much as New York City despite having half as many people. (CNN, Axios, Wall Street Journal $, Washington Post $, New York Times $, AZCentral $)