Forum discusses Arizona's water future

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Next month the State of Arizona will turn one hundred years old.  As the state goes into its second century, will the water in the sun corridor, which includes Pima County, dry up?

A local conference of experts tried to answer that question Tuesday.

People gathered in the student union at the U of A to discuss the future of water in Arizona.

"Its important that we have a dialogue that's inclusive, involves expertise from all different parts of the state and different backgrounds.  And that's what we have assembled here today," said Dir. of the U of A Water Resources Research Center Sharon Megdal.

Right now we have water, but in 2112 will the well run dry?  The experts at the conference say, no.

"We have sufficient water supplies to ensure a variety of things going into the future, but we're going to have to start making tougher and tougher choices about those things," said Grady Gammage, Jr. with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy as ASU.

The tough choices could mean cuts to water usage in the future for residents and farmers in the sun corridor which includes Yavapai, Maricopa, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Pima County.

"We have to make choices between whether were going to continue to have any agriculture left in the sun corridor, whether we're were going to continue to stay in the lifestyle we had in the past which involves things like private swimming pools enhanced landscape," Gammage said.

The goal of the conference is planning for Arizona's water future.  Researchers say residents can start their planning now.

"About half of the water in the sun corridor that is used domestically at households is used for landscaping outside the home that where we can still save quite a large amount of water," Gammage said.

Experts say, due to the change in water usage, Arizona's landscape looks much different than it did one hundred years ago and it will continue changing over the next one hundred years.