Is Arizona the “Sweet Spot” of Nature?

This is the Colorado River before it reaches the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona


Sean, our extremely young and extravagantly enthusiastic “banker,” at least for today, asked us if we realized that Arizona was nature’s sweet spot. By that he meant that the rest of North America suffered recurring natural disasters. But not Arizona. The west coast has frequent tsunamis. The east coast has hurricanes.  The mid-west has tornados. The north of course has bone-chilling cold and blizzards. Arizona escapes all these calamities. Hence it is in the sweet spot. He admitted they have infrequent dust storms and heat stroke victims, but nothing serious. That may be true but the future effects of climate change may make these events more frequent and more serious.

Of course, even more importantly, he ignored the fact that Arizona is DRY. It is so dry here that it is really unlivable. Phoenix gets 40% of its water from the Colorado River, which is being depleted. It no longer reaches the Pacific Ocean as historically it did. It is dry long before it reaches the coast. Too many straws are slurping that water. The States and Indigenous groups and municipal governments  draw from the Colorado River  pursuant to an anachronistic formula set out by a complex agreement made with all those organizations. In fact the federal regulator has given notice that unless the parties are able to successfully renegotiate that agreement by agreeing to reductions, it will impose a new formula upon them. The deadline for renegotiation just passed and a near agreement was reached. It is likely that a temporary solution will be reached, but it also appears further painful reductions will have to be renegotiated again within a year because of the historic 19 year drought in this area.

The rest of the water is obtained by drawing from aquifers that are also being depleted and  recycling captured water.

The real problem is that there is not enough water for all the people and livestock in this region. And the population and livestock numbers keep rising. This region, I suspect is in for a much bigger problems than the occasional blizzard.  It may not be the “sweet spot” for long.

Leave a Reply