Arizona’s Groundwater Crisis


By Michael Bryan

I seldom post about a single article, but this article by the New York Times Magazine, The Water Wars of Arizona, strikes so deeply and accurately at the root of a major problem for rural Arizona communities that I feel everyone in Arizona who wishes to be an informed citizen and voter should read it.

We who live in an active water management district, such as Tucson or Phoenix do not keenly feel the literal ground sinking beneath our feet as do many in rural and agricultural areas. Few of us can imagine the panic and despair of your household well running dry, knowing that you cannot afford to dig it deeper to reach an ever-retreating ground-water table.

For those who want further reading on this critical subject after finishing this fine article, I suggest “Water Follies” by Arizona’s own Robert Glennon of the UofA Law School.


  1. Stop building, and development. There is only so much anyway do these people really want to hit the wall?

    • Here’s some food for thought.
      About 80% of water consumption in AZ (or any other western state for that matter) is for agriculture. The other 20% is city domestic and a few other things. If the 80% is cut by one-fourth, bringing it down to 60%, the other uses could get twice as much water (from 20% up to 40%0. Doubling the population doesn’t seem so far fetched with that thinking.
      To be clear, I am not in favor of population growth but economic growth is what we should be working on.

  2. “Investors” pedalling unregulated 40 acre “farms” to suckers claiming unlimited water in Mohave County. For the last 50 years locals wanted no regulations on water as that would stiffle development. Now that New York hedge funds and foreign “investors” grab the water, locals want something done. But no AMAs, we dont want to be like Pinal and Prescott and Maricopa County. The one thing they can agree on is no water transfers to Maricopa or Pinal counties to prop up land speculators hoping for more desert subdivisions.

  3. It’s a great article. The closing sentences speak volumes about our state legislature and governor.

  4. Water shortage is already acute in rural AZ but before long we’ll be feeling it in urban areas too.

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