Phoenix Area Restricts Construction As Groundwater Evaporates

It's no surprise that the Phoenix metro area may run out of water one day, given its rapid population growth, urbanization, and desert climate. Local authorities announced on Thursday that the state will no longer grant building permits to new developments in the Phoenix metro area until alternative water sources are found.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs said a

New Study

The groundwater in the Phoenix metro area is showing signs of a possible shortage. Current developments can be built to safeguard the supply, but those that are not yet approved must show alternative water sources. Developers are required to show officials that they have a "reliable water supply" alternative for the next 100 years. This must come from groundwater sources outside of their locality.

The study concluded that the demand for groundwater in the metro area, which is nearly 4.9 millions acre-feet (4%), cannot be met within the next century. If the projections prove to be accurate, a major water shortage may be imminent and could have wide-ranging implications for the post Covid development boom.

The announcement on Thursday is an indication that the desert-like metro area in which there's a lack of water has limitations when it comes to the number of houses it can accommodate.

Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy and CNN, said that the new law would make it more difficult for developers to build on the desert.

Former Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard said that the study shows residents "live on borrowed water." He continued:

You need to be aware of every drop. You cannot build without knowing exactly where the water comes from.

Arizona's Water Infrastructure Finance Authority started reviewing a proposal last year for a

multibillion-dollar project

To counter the drought-driven water insecurity, a desalination facility would be built in Mexico to pump water via a 200 mile pipeline into the border state.

Phoenix shouldn't blame climate change. They should be reminded that they are located in the middle desert and the rapid population growth over the past few years has depleted finite resources faster. If Phoenix wants to grow, it may have to look at the 200-mile pipeline coming from Mexico.