Water in the Media

Water Department Examines Aging Water System

Paulina Pineda, The Republic | azcentral.com
December 16, 2014

Water shot about 100 feet into the air for two hours on Oct. 15 after a water main failed near 28th Avenue and Indian School Road, causing road closures and flooding.

The 51-year-old pipe, installed in 1963, had a hole in the top.

Arizona Shower Door owner Pete Knadler said water accumulated on the businesses’ roof, in the parking lot and seeped into the building.

“For a water main to break and geyser 100 feet into the air on top of my building was sad,” he said, adding that the water main failure caused structural and landscaping damage.

Knadler has filed a $39,000 claim with the city — repairs to the roof are estimated at $36,000 alone — and insurance adjusters and structural engineers have inspected the property.

“There was no material damage to any of the shower doors or aluminum or glass,” he said. “They dodged a huge bullet because that could have escalated the claim.”

There have been about 850 water-main breaks or leaks this year, according to a Phoenix Water Services Department spokesperson.

Department officials say this isn’t out of the ordinary.

“It’s actually a normal year,” said Troy Hayes, the assistant water services director. “We haven’t seen more or less breaks. Maybe we’re just doing a better job about reporting them to the media.”

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How Arizona Delayed a Looming Water Crisis

Editorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com
December 9, 2014

Our View: With Lake Mead dangerously low, Arizona leaders have forged a remarkable agreement to fend off shortages.

At the rate that Lake Mead is dropping, Arizona farmers face the possibility of being cut off from the Colorado River by 2017. The state’s urban dwellers wouldn’t be that far behind, with water shortages likely to touch them by 2025.

So Arizona’s water leaders did what they have always done. They found a creative solution.

And what a solution it is: an agreement among a variety of Arizona, Nevada and California interests aimed at keeping enough water in Lake Mead to buy time for long-term solutions. It also changes thinking about the Colorado River, making the three states partners rather than competitors jostling for every drop.

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Arizona Farmers Take Hit to Stave Off Water Crisis

Brenna Goth, The Republic | azcentral.com
December 13, 2014

All it takes is 10 feet of water to go from caution to crisis on the Colorado River.

That’s why Arizona farmers like Dan Thelander support a new agreement that will help conserve the amount of water in Lake Mead even though it could mean short-term sacrifices for them.

The water level at Lake Mead is currently about 1,085 feet above sea level, hovering near its lowest point since the dam was built in the 1930s. A drop of 10 more feet to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s official tipping point of 1,075 feet would trigger swift and significant supply reductions. Arizona agriculture would be the first to take a hit.

Under a new multistate agreement signed this week, Colorado River water users will save a portion of their allotments to store in Lake Mead and boost the lake’s levels. Arizona is committing to save the most water among the states, which means some deliveries and diversions will be reduced to keep water in the system.

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