The Colorado River is in crisis. And it’s getting worse.

An unprecedented scarcity on the Colorado River introduced vital cuts this 12 months to Arizona’s water provide, about one-third of which programs via the canal. That’s as a result of the state agreed a long time in the past to junior rights to the river in trade for federal funding for the Central Arizona Project, referred to as the CAP.

Within the CAP system, the farmers and ranchers who work central Arizona fields have decrease precedence. They have misplaced about two-thirds of their provide, and the state’s Farm Bureau says many must let their land go dry.

The canal appears to be like the identical with much less water, but it surely now flows a bit extra slowly, mentioned DeEtte Person, a spokeswoman on the undertaking’s headquarters in Phoenix, the place a quartet of water management operators sit earlier than stacks of laptop displays in a dim room, monitoring and directing the water via gates and turnouts throughout the state.

With extra cuts anticipated in coming years, Person mentioned, the CAP is already envisioning shifting non-Colorado River water via the canal, maybe groundwater. Water recycling can also be being mentioned, she mentioned. It’s all a part of what she known as “long-term disaster planning.”

The canal cuts down the center of Wong’s farm north of Tucson, and all of the farm’s water comes from it. But Wong and the cotton and alfalfa farmers to whom he leases a lot of his land gained’t face cuts — not but.

Wong, whose great-grandfather began the household farm enterprise after immigrating from China within the late nineteenth century, can be spared, due to the kind of water sharing and buying and selling offers frequent alongside a river whose each drop is coveted.

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