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Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:46 PM


As a 20+ year Arizona (Tuvson) resident ...

I've been plagued by a single question that raises it's head every late June through mid-September:

Every year, in the midst of long-term drought conditions, Tucson experiences monsoonal rains. These rains make roads impassable, wash out roads and are generally a nuisance until the water runs off.

We know the water run-off ways, yet it appears no one has planned a system to channel AND CAPTURE this water.


I know that such a plan would be incredibly expensive, but the Federal Government already supports water/flood control projects (it paid for several golf course re-designs).

Besides, could you imagine the economic impact of creating a 10-20 arce reservoir that is charged by monsoonal rains?

Disclaimer ... that is probably obvious: I'm no hydrologist, so I have no idea how large a reservoir the rains will support.

There would be thousands of jobs created for the construction and maintenance of the project. There would be hundreds of jobs created through the recreational activities/industries that would spring up around the project.

What about the cost savings realized from not having to repair roadways annually, as the run-off is channeled through the metro-area via water ways, rather than through and across city streets?

What about the environmental impact? The reservoir could serve as a water source, either through groundwater recharge, or directly to treatment plants.

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Reply As a 20+ year Arizona (Tuvson) resident ... (Original post)
1StrongBlackMan Jul 2012 OP
rfranklin Jul 2012 #1
mvccd1000 Jul 2012 #2

Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 03:05 PM

1. Tucson has average rainfall of 11"...probably not enough to fill a reservoir...


The NRDC study rates Pima county, Arizona, where Tuscon is located, as an area with extreme risk of water shortage. The city is in the Sonoran desert, an extremely arid region which receives less than 12 inches of rainfall each year. Currently, the Tucson region uses about 350,000 acre-feet of water per year. At this rate, Tucson’s groundwater supply, which now provides the majority of the city’s water, has a very limited life span. In addition to this, the city is currently bringing in 314,000 acre-feet per year from the Colorado River under the Central Arizona Project. However, Tuscon is growing rapidly, adding more than 20,000 people since 2000. This, combined with the political uncertainty of the Central Arizona Project allocation, places Tucson at extreme risk for future water shortages.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 12:40 AM

2. Runoff is regulated...

... if I'm not mistaken.

I have not researched the topic at all to make this answer today, but I read the excellent book, "The Cadillac Desert" years ago, and was blown away by how tightly controlled water is by treaty, pact, and federal and state regulations.

I agree that your idea makes sense, but which aquifers or rivers "down flow" from your area then go without the water that they are allotted? It's a very complicated issue in the arid southwest, and that book makes for excellent reading.

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

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