I took this picture an hour ago in the city of Gilbert, Arizona, a suburb of the capital, Phoenix. Here is where Phoenix lies with respect to the eastern boundary of the desert in Arizona (the red line represents US Highway 191):
It is obvious that the city and the state have diverted water from elsewhere and used it here. What happens to the ‘elsewhere’? Where does the water come from to provide the citizens of Gilbert, AZ, with such a lovely park (one that my great-granddaughter visits often)?
Aqueducts in Arizona (source):
- Arizona Canal
- Central Arizona Project(Granite Reef Aqueduct)
- Consolidated Canal
- Gila Gravity Canal
- Grand Canal (Arizona)
- South Canal (Arizona)
- Tempe Canal
- Western Canal (Arizona)
One result of this diversion can be seen in ‘Groundwater decline and depletion’ (US Geological Survey):
John Gray, in his book Straw Dogs (which book I highly recommend for many reasons) notes:
If you want to understand twenty-first-century wars, forget the ideological conflicts of the twentieth century… Future wars will be fought over dwindling resources.
And what resource could be more important than water?
Observation and question:
We have lawns and golf courses and swimming pools and man-made lakes in the desert. How long can we maintain this lifestyle until the water table and water from elsewhere can no longer support it, physically and politically?