Drought and Growth Considerations in Long Range Municipal Water Resource Planning
Steve Rossi, City of Phoenix Water Services Department
In 1951, following a decade of “unprecedented development” in the City of Phoenix, a report
addressing future water production and transmission facilities projected that the City’s population would
reach 420,000 by the year 2000. Almost fifty years later, the U.S. Census for 2000 established Phoenix’s
population at 1.3 million – a threefold increase over that seemingly robust 1951 projection.
Uncertainty regarding the rate of population growth is but one of many challenges inherent in
assessing future municipal water needs. An effective water resource plan must consider not only the
traditional “consensus opinion” of what is likely to happen over time, but a range of alternative scenarios
which could occur. Strategic planning approaches which consider a variety of future conditions become
particularly important in an era of over-allocated watersheds, stringent environmental regulations, water
quality concerns, litigation and tough competition for supplies.
Abstracts of presentations given on Wednesday, 19 July 2006, in session 17 of the UCOWR Conference.
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