TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tier 1 water shortages kicked in for the first time this year. Meanwhile, levels at Lake Mead continue to fall.
“We could skip from a Tier 2 to a Tier 2b, because of the lack of water in Lake Powell and Lake Mead,” said City of Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.
Romero says the City of Tucson will discuss with other jurisdictions a coordinated conservation agreement. That also includes the potential for leaving a portion of its normal allotment of Central Arizona Project water in Lake Mead.
“This move could actually leave us water resources in the future,” she said. “And the federal government could compensate the City of Tucson for leaving water in Lake Mead.”
She says cutting back now would be better for the city than allowing water levels to drop low enough to trigger additional mandatory shortages across Arizona and in Tucson.
“That could be even worse for the pocketbook of Tucson Water, and it could be less water resources for the city of Tucson.”
Water flowing from the Colorado River through the CAP system is a big reason for the growth of Tucson and other Arizona cities over the decades.
Romero says Tucson is positioned better than most areas of the southwest with decades worth of groundwater in storage.
“We are in a healthy place,” she said.
But despite Tucson having water in the bank, Romero says more needs to be done to protect water resources in the future.
“There is no job creation or economic development, and there is a real question mark about the continued growth of this state.”
Brian Brennan’s fascination with weather began as a kid in Arizona watching the intense thunderstorms during monsoon. He has covered major breaking news, court trials, Nellis Air Force Base, and has put himself at the center of many weather events.