Phoenix, other Arizona cities to provide water to farmers during drought

Sep 7, 2021, 4:15 AM

Colorado River water flows through a canal that feeds farms operated by Tempe Farming Co., in Casa ...

Colorado River water flows through a canal that feeds farms operated by Tempe Farming Co., in Casa Grande, Ariz., Thursday, July 22, 2021. The Colorado River has been a go-to source of water for cities, tribes and farmers in the U.S. West for decades. But climate change, drought and increased demand are taking a toll. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to declare the first-ever mandatory cuts from the river for 2022. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

PHOENIX — Phoenix and other cities in the Valley will provide water to Arizona farmers struggling through the current drought, per a press release. The federal government has classified the state of the Colorado River as a Tier 1 water shortage. Pinal County agricultural water users are most affected.

In preparation for this event, two years ago, several Valley cities and entities came up with the 2019 Drought Contingency Plan.

This involves the implementation of Underground Storage Facilities to Groundwater Savings Facilities Program, which the city of Phoenix describes as a savings account.

Cities make “deposits” by granting water from their Colorado River supplies to irrigation districts in Pinal County in the short term. In exchange, the cities will gain access to ground water later on.

The agriculture irrigation districts will exclusively use the water provided instead of ground water until that supply builds back up.

Phoenix will supply 12,000 acre-feet of water, while 5,000 will each come from Scottsdale, Tucson and Peoria. Avondale, Chandler and Goodyear will also be providing water.

Central Arizona Irrigation and Drainage District will receive the most water, followed by Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District.

Phoenix has spent decades building up a “robust” water supply, so the plan is not expected to impact its ability to provide clean water to its customers.

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Phoenix, other Arizona cities to provide water to farmers during drought