Arizona's dry future begins as the Colorado River shrinks
PHOENIX—Arizona is the first state to experience deep cuts caused by a drought-driven decline in the Colorado River, one of the most important water sources in the American Southwest.
Farmers in the fast-growing state are losing most of the water they get from the Colorado this year, and many are leaving large tracts of land uncultivated, with more cuts planned for next year. If the reduction in river flows isn’t reversed, cities in Arizona and other states could be hit next, officials say.
"All projections are that the flow will continue to decrease due to a warming climate,” said Tom Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. “The challenge will be how to look at those limited resources from a long-term perspective."