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By Samuel R. Avro on Dec 8, 2008 with no responses

Arizona’s Water and Power Supply Part of One Large Picture

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The Central Arizona Project's station at Waddell Dam pumps Colorado River water in and out of Lake Pleasant.

The Central Arizona Project's station at Waddell Dam pumps Colorado River water in and out of Lake Pleasant.

Water and energy in Arizona are parts of one large issue, they are intertwined according to an article in the Arizona Republic. Both electricity and water rely on each other to provide for their own needs:

The connection is even more pronounced in Arizona and the wide-open West, where moving water where it’s needed, often uphill, consumes enough power to light whole cities.

As water grows scarcer and energy costs climb, providers fear the two resources will collide at the points that link them.

Drought or climate change could pinch water flows, driving up the price of water for energy providers, which use it to generate electricity and cool power plants. The energy providers, in turn, would raise their rates, increasing costs for water providers, which need the power to treat and distribute water. That cycle of rising costs would continue, trapping consumers in the middle with higher water and power bills.

The article goes on to discuss ways that the seven Colorado River states should manage their resources in order to save energy and water over the next 20-30 years.