Drought: The Lengthy and Wanting It

View of South Mountain from Queen Creek, AZ (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

12 July 2023

Quick time period:

Last Friday, 7 July, Pennsylvania was placed under a statewide drought watch by the PA Department of Environmental Protection. They evaluated 4 components to make the choice: precipitation, floor water circulate, groundwater stage, and soil moisture. Essentially the most worrisome was low groundwater in 16 counties and a 90-day rain deficit in Elk and Warren.

After which it rained in central and jap PA and the Drought Situation map modified. Many of the state is now within the inexperienced (good) or yellow zone. Apart from low groundwater in 14 of our 67 counties, the drought seems to be quick time period as a result of an excellent rain can clear it up. See the Earlier than and After, July 9 and 11, on this slideshow.

USGS Pennsylvania Drought Condition monitoring as of July 9 and 11, 2023

Long run:

In the meantime, Arizona is not in a drought right now nevertheless it’s a desert, its water provide is proscribed, and it suffered a long run drought for a few years. Water allocation needs to be deliberate in Arizona so that they gained’t run out. This prompted Phoenix put the brakes on growth final month in locations that depend on floor water.

Arizona is not going to approve new housing development on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that depend on groundwater due to years of overuse and a multi-decade drought that’s sapping its water provide. …

Officers mentioned builders might nonetheless construct within the affected areas however would want to search out various water sources to take action — similar to floor or recycled water.

Driving the state’s resolution was a projection that confirmed that over the following 100 years, demand in metro Phoenix for nearly 4.9 million acre-feet of groundwater can be unmet with out additional motion, Hobbs mentioned. An acre-foot of water is roughly sufficient for 2 to 3 U.S. households per yr. …

Hobbs added that there are 80,000 unbuilt houses that can have the ability to transfer ahead as a result of they have already got assured water provide certificates inside the Phoenix Energetic Administration Space, a designation used for regulating groundwater.

TribLive: Drought, water overuse prompt Arizona to limit construction in some fast-growing parts of Phoenix

I’ve marked up this Google map of Phoenix to point out the fastest growing areas circled in red.

Map of Phoenix, AZ metro with circles added: 5 quickest rising suburbs (screenshot from Google Maps)

Again within the Nineteen Nineties I had a buddy within the Metropolis of Phoenix’s financial growth division who was proud to foretell that, based mostly on the town’s projected stage of growth, that they had 75 years of water. In different phrases, they have been OK till roughly 2070. My thought on the time was “Solely 75 years?? Then what??”

Now we all know. It took solely 30 years to place the brakes on.

p.s. Phoenix, in Maricopa County, is without doubt one of the quickest rising areas of the U.S.; Maricopa grew 20.55% since 2010. Being from Pittsburgh, the place Allegheny County grew 2.89% in the identical time interval, I marveled on the notion of 80,000 unbuilt houses.

(picture and map credit are within the captions, click on on the hyperlinks to see the originals)

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