Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Arizona's water supply vulnerability is power, not water

From Tucson-based water resource consulting firm  Montgomery & Associates:

"The Colorado River’s low flows and Lake Mead’s photogenic bathtub rings are again making headlines — but the most vulnerable component of Arizona’s water supply system today is its power supply."

"The Navajo Generating Station, a 2250 MW coal-fired plant, provides nearly all the power required to operate the Central Arizona Project. The plant’s future depends on the willingness of its partners / owners to invest in its continued operation." 

The required investment to keep the plant operating is increasing due to several critical factors. Read more  Montgomery & Associates' Arizona Water Policy Update (editor notes that this is her day job)

The Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant pumps water approximately 824 feet from Lake Havasu to enter the CAP aqueduct system. In total, the CAP lifts water more than 3,000 feet and transports it 336 miles, from Lake Havasu, through Phoenix, and to Tucson.

Bottom line for Arizona:  "Regardless of whether NGS shuts down or continues to operate, the power plant responsible for moving most of Arizona's water plant is going to have a major impact on the price and availability of Colorado River water supplies in Arizona in the near future."
May 2013, Issue 71

1 comment:

  1. I'm not going to say "nexus". I'm going to say "importing water is expensive... and people had better get used to paying for it if they want to live FAR from the source."