It is BlogActionDay2010 and I’m joining bloggers from all over the world to educate my readers about WATER.
Central Arizona Project is designed to bring about 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water per year to Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties. CAP carries water from Lake Havasu near Parker to the southern boundary of the San Xavier Indian Reservation southwest of Tucson. It is a 336-mile long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines and is the largest single resource of renewable water supplies in the state of Arizona. The water quality in the Lower Colorado River is quite good. The river and lakes are used for full body contact recreation, fishing, and riparian habitat. The water is used to irrigate over 1.0 million acres of cropland and is treated for use as municipal and domestic water supply for over 25 million people.
Despite the overall good health of the Lower Colorado some sites along the river are experiencing problems.
Hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium 6) a known carcinogen when inhaled, has been found in groundwater about 60 feet from the Colorado River south of Needles, CA. This location is approximately 45 miles up stream of CAP’s Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant. The State of California is requiring Pacific Gas and Electric Company to undertake a clean up of the contamination that is coming from a compressor station. Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is also monitoring groundwater in the vicinity as a precaution. Approximately 292 acre-feet of groundwater has been removed and treated to date (July 2006). [Erin Brockovich , anyone?!]
While our communities in Arizona are using water from the Colorado river, we are taking resources that heretofor had gone downstream to Mexico.
The 1944 Treaty between the U.S. and Mexico allocated 1.5 million acre-feet (af) of Colorado River water to Mexico annually. In recent years, various environmental groups have advocated that the United States should deliver additional water to Mexico to sustain and improve environmentally significant habitat in Mexico. The U.S. has responded by saying there will be no reallocation of water from the U.S. to Mexico, but the U.S. has offered technical assistance concerning potential actions to conserve water in Mexico.