Arizona Governor Pledges $1 Billion to Water Infrastructure

The billion-dollar investment in the state's water supplies sounds good on paper, but lawmakers must also distribute funding effectively to mitigate the state's urgent water shortage.

January 14, 2022, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Irrigiation Channel

Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock

An op-ed by Joanna Allhands argues that Arizona governor Doug Ducey's recent proposal to commit $1 billion to water projects won't be enough to solve the state's water woes. The governor's vague pledge, Allhands writes, leaves many unanswered questions about how the funds will be distributed.

Allhands also suggests that the governor's proposal doesn't bring enough attention to conservation, rather choosing to focus on projects that seek to augment water supplies. "If we only focus on finding new water, it leaves little incentive to use the water we have more wisely – something we could do quicker and, in most cases, at far lower cost."

According to Allhands, many of the more glamorous projects like desalination plants depend on other parties and are years away from completion. Meanwhile, the state could "raid" the general fund and deplete the water funding before it's allocated to specific projects.

Allhands cautions that lawmakers shouldn't forget about the policy side of things, even though those might be more difficult conversations. State leaders must tackle "not only how we sustain the uses that are already here, but also how we grow and where and (importantly) who pays for all of this."

Southwestern states are facing increasingly dire drought conditions. Last summer, when Lake Mead reached historic lows not seen since the reservoir's construction, the federal government declared a water shortage and implemented cutbacks for farmers and water agencies across the region.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 in azcentral

Stylized rendering of the Midwest Regional Rail Network

Federal Railroad Administration Proposes New Midwest Rail Network

If built, regional high-speed rail networks could provide an alternative to uncomfortable air travel and prevent travelers from becoming stranded at airports during extreme weather.

January 17, 2022 - The Urbanist

New York City Politicians wears a mask at a New York subway station during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Leadership at New York Department of City Planning

With a new mayoral administration comes new planning leadership in the Big Apple.

January 20, 2022 - New York City

Utah

'15-Minute City' To Be Built in Utah

A community that focuses on reducing the need for car ownership and providing effective multimodal transportation and diverse land uses will be built from scratch on the site of the decommissioned Utah State Prison.

January 19, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

Suburban Homes

Experts Express Pessimism Over Housing Costs

Although the current housing crisis has been compared with the housing crash of the late 2000s, experts caution that affordability issues could plague the U.S. housing market for years to come.

5 hours ago - The New York Times

online education

Annual Google Scholar Citation Data for Planning Faculty

Publish or perish?

6 hours ago - Tom Sanchez

Texas Apartment Construction

What the Microchip Shortage Reveals About Housing

The microchip shortage facing the automotive industry illustrates the significant impact that supply has on the cost of durable goods.

7 hours ago - Slowboring.com

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.