By Aaron Dorman | Pinal Central (Photo via Doug Singer)
CASA GRANDE — The future of Pinal County will include less water, but more people, according to speakers at the most recent Pinal Partnership breakfast.
A panel on water issues outlined challenges ahead for developers and businesses in light of recent announcements about limited access to diminished water resources within Arizona, and the southwest overall.
The panelists touted the partnership’s Water Resource Committee for their work on a variety of legislative solutions and modeling studies.
Pinal Partnership Chairwoman and panel moderator Jordan Rose said the organization would be pivoting from a focus on transportation to water in their work overall.
“We’re really lucky that we have been thinking about water,” said panelist Jake Lenderking, Senior Vice President for Water Resources at Global Water Resources Inc. “Water is scarce in Arizona. It always has been, and we are just realizing the effects of that.”
Lenderking said that despite the drought, the county could potentially double in size, adding 400,000 more people, under existing entitlements.
Still, the shortages on the Colorado River have lead to tightened restrictions on both surface water use and groundwater. Farmers in Pinal County are expected to bear the initial brunt of Central Arizona Project water shortfalls, and that has cascading affects for the local economy.