While Arizona may be in a relatively good water position now, Fabritz-Whitney says a water shortage is coming. She believes the shortage can be managed through extended water management and funding.

The director shared two studies which point to higher water demands versus the available future supply.

In 2010, the Water Resource Development Commission (WRDC), created by the Arizona Legislature, studied the state’s water needs for the next 25, 50, and 100 years.

The commission predicted statewide water demand will grow from about 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) of water in 2035 to 10.1 MAF in 2110; a supply shortfall of about 2 MAF over the next 100 years without further action.

The WRDC stresses that proactive and localized water management strategies are necessary to acquire additional water supplies and to develop the infrastructure to access new and existing unused water supplies.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) conducted a study on whether the Colorado River Basin will have enough water to meet the demands of the seven basin states - Wyoming, California, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada – for the next 50 years.

The USBR predicts Arizona will have an estimated 1.3 MAF supply shortfall on the river; about one-third of the total river basin shortfall in 50 years.