Unlike rivers and dams, aquifers are not something we think about. After all, they are a few hundred feet below. But in Arizona, these constitute our back-up plans in the advent of a drought. They are also the intangible benefits of a desert state.
Unfortunately Arizona doesn’t market its water advantage enough. Water is framed as a crisis, rather than an asset because it’s the damn easiest thing to do. The media don’t help either, focusing on the problem not the solution.
This month WIRED magazine has an extensive feature called “Peak Water” by Matthew Power, covering the US, England and Australia. It leads with water management strategies in Arizona –Chandler in particular. “Thanks to this so-called recharge, the local aquifer is actually rising a few feet a year.” he says, illustrating it with a program between one of Intel‘s fabrication plants (Fab 32) which uses 2 million gallons of water a day, and pumps back 1.5 million gallons a day into an aquifer six miles down the road.
Peak Water is a topic close to me, by virtue of where I work -at the Decision Theater. Among other ways of addressing issues through visualization, we have a sophisticated supply and demand model of water called WaterSim. We are also right next to DCDC which plans for these precious resources. I mean assets.
To some the aquifer is either half empty. To others the aquifer is half full.
In Arizona, what story do we like to tell?
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