Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to use desalinated water in Arizona will be pricey, expert says

May 6, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 4:54 pm

A farmer shows the desalinated water used to water sown field at the Atacama desert, in the outskir...

A farmer shows the desalinated water used to water sown field at the Atacama desert, in the outskirts of Antofagasta. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images)

(MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is making a push to bring desalinated water to the state with a potential $1 billion investment, but an expert says that is going to be expensive.

“That water will cost a lot more money than what we’re used to paying now, at least double, or in some case triple, for the raw water,” Tom Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Buschatzke estimates an acre-foot of desalinated water could cost in the ballpark of $3,000, while non-desalinated water is typically $50 to $150 per acre-foot.

He said a family of three in the metro Phoenix area uses about 1 acre-foot of water a year and that cities would decide what the final water prices are for consumers.

Buschatzke said the state is probably around a decade away from being able to use desalinated water, which he stresses does work.

“The technology for (desalinated) is proven and the cost because of the technology improvements is going down,” he said.

The city of Goodyear has a small desalination plant where it takes underground water that is salty, which Buschatzke calls brackish groundwater, and cleans it for use.

The plan includes helping fund the building of a desalination plant in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. The state would not own the plant but would buy water from it. Buschatzke estimates the cost to build the plant would be in the neighborhood of $2.5-3 billion.

Ducey’s plan now hangs in the balance of the state legislature and it is expected to be voted on by the end of the session.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

File photo of construction on a home with downtown Phoenix, Arizona, in the background. Phoenix has...

Associated Press

Phoenix becomes largest US city to successfully challenge 2020 census numbers

Phoenix has become the largest U.S. city to successfully challenge its population count from the 2020 census.

17 hours ago

Arizona State Route 87 was closed northeast of metro Phoenix on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, because of a...

Brush fire closes portion of State Route 87 northeast of metro Phoenix

State Route 87 was closed northeast of metro Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon because of a brush fire, authorities said.

17 hours ago

Tazbah Spruhan of Window Rock, Arizona, reacts after misspelling "Groenendael" during a preliminary...

2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee starts with 3 Arizona students

Three Arizona middle school students, including one from the Valley, qualified to compete in this week's Scripps National Spelling Bee.

17 hours ago

Booking photo for Marco Antonio Aguilera, who is accused of stabbing a Scottsdale Quarter security ...

Man accused of stabbing Scottsdale Quarter security guard

A man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly stabbing a Scottsdale Quarter security guard, authorities said.

17 hours ago

Booking photo for Iren Byers, the suspect in a murder spree in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, and Mesa ...

Kevin Stone

Here’s what Mesa police have learned about suspect in weekend killing spree

With a suspect in custody, police are piecing together the details of a weekend killing spree in Mesa and Phoenix.

17 hours ago

(Pexels Photo, File)...

Pedestrian crossing Glendale street on red light dies after getting hit by vehicle

A pedestrian died Tuesday morning after she was hit by a vehicle in Glendale while crossing a street on a red light.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to use desalinated water in Arizona will be pricey, expert says