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How Arizona is still finding ways to grow – despite water crisis

Words by Tess Becker

Arizona is one of the quickest-growing states in the country. Its capital, Phoenix, has blossomed into the fifth most populated city in the US and all that is despite being a massive dry and arid state with deserts everywhere and a concerning water supply. 

West of Phoenix is a small farming town called Buckeye that is being touted as one of the fastest growing towns in the country, starting with a population of 6,500 in 2000 to the north of 111,000 today.

All of this, despite the fact that Arizona is the driest its been in 1,200 years. Currently, amid a 23-year-long megadrought Arizona officials are getting creative with how to use the water, they do have while helping promote the state’s continuous growth. 

Arizona has some of the lowest priority rights to the river water of any of the seven basin states. So Phoenix and its suburbs are increasingly turning to groundwater as the state has endured big cuts to Colorado River water.

While the state released a report about the use of water and how they may be running a little lower than expected many town officials welcomed the news saying that a detailed report helps them plan the cities better and more efficiently.

“I don't think we want to shut off all of the growth trying to figure out the solution for all the growth, “ Buckeye Mayor Eric Orbsorn says. “We can do this in an incremental approach.”

This is a part of a wider trend, specifically in states like Arizona and to the west, California where states are having to find creative ways to save water while still promoting positive growth in their communities. 

If this is something you’re passionate about consider donating to some organizations like to help bring potable water to developing countries.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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