• Constraints on Water Development by the Appropriation Doctrine (invited)

      Lorah, William L.; Wright Water Engineers, Inc. (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      The doctrine of prior appropriation used in the arid western states has encouraged rapid exploitation of our natural water resources. Those who beneficially used the water first, regardless of type of use or efficiency, obtained a perpetual right to always be first. As frontiers for exploiting our natural resources shrink, the Appropriation Doctrine is changing under the stresses of the 1970's. Our water allocations system is changing as new water -use priorities emerge along with changing quality standards. Government at all levels, along with planners and engineers, must understand the institutional and legal constraints put on water development by our historic water rights system so that intelligent decisions can be made in developing and maintaining our natural water resources.
    • Economic Alternatives in Solving the U. S.-Mexico Colorado River Water Salinity Problem (invited)

      Martin, William E.; Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A proposed desalting plant is an engineering solution to the effects of a problem which could have been avoided and even now could be reduced on the farm. Water costing $125 per acre-foot will be delivered to Mexico to grow wheat, cotton, garden crops, alfalfa and safflower, of which the average value added per acre-foot was estimated at $80 for cotton and garden crops and $14 for wheat, alfalfa and safflower. The U.S. government, instead of building the desalting complex, could accomplish its purpose just as well by paying each farmer in the Yuma area, in return for the farmers reducing their drainage flow by whatever method they see fit, $114 per acre per year for the next 50 years. With proper management on the farm, the costs of managing salinity need not be high.
    • Metropolitan Operated District for Sewage Effluent - Irrigation Water Exchange

      Cluff, C. Brent; DeCook, K. James; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A plan for the reuse of sewage effluent is proposed for the city of Tucson, Arizona. Several kinds of use would be possible, but utilization for irrigation of existing farmland in the Avra-Marana area seems particularly attractive for several reasons: (1) conveyance can be accomplished by gravity flow, (2) no tertiary treatment is required for the presently grown crops, (3) the nutrients in the effluent would be better used, and (4) effluent use would reduce the pumpage of high quality groundwater, conserving it for municipal or other uses. An exchange of wastewater for groundwater for use in the city system is seen as a good alternative to the present practice of the city purchasing farmland in Avra valley in order to acquire the groundwater for conveyance to the Tucson basin. Objectives to maximize the quantity and efficiency of wastewater use may not appear compatible with the profit maximization motive of the individual farmer, and suitable provisions will have to be written into wastewater sales agreements to assure coordination between user and supplier.
    • A Rational Water Policy for Desert Cities

      Matlock, W. G.; Agricultural Engineering, Soils, Water and Engineering Department, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Four sources of water supply for desert cities are rainfall, runoff, groundwater, and imported water, and the potential use for each varies. The government can institute various policy changes to eliminate or reduce the imbalance between water supply and demand. Restrictions should be placed on water-use luxuries such as swimming pools, subdivision lakes, fountains, etc. Water pricing should be progressive; each unit of increased use above a reasonable minimum should be charged for at an increasing rate. Runoff from individual properties, homes, storage, and supermarkets should be minimized through the use of onsite recharge wells, and various collection methods should be initiated. A campaign to acquaint the general public with a new water policy must be inaugurated.
    • Salinity Control Planning in the Colorado River System (invited)

      Maletic, John T.; Water Quality Office, Engineering and Research Center, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      In the lower reaches of the Colorado River, damages from the increase in salinity to U.S. water users are now estimated to be about 53 million dollars per year and will increase to about 124 million dollars per year by the year 2000 if no salinity control measures are taken. Physical, legal, economic, and institutional aspects of the salinity problem and proposed actions to mesh salinity control with a total water management plan for the basin are discussed. A scheme is presented for planning under the Colorado River water quality improvement program. Recent legislative action is also discussed which provides control plans to improve the water quality delivered to Mexico as well as upper basin water users. These efforts now under study will assure the continued, full utility of Colorado River water to U.S. users and Mexico. However, more extensive development of the basin's natural resources puts new emphasis on total resources management through improved water and land use planning to conserve a most precious western resource - water.
    • United States-Mexico Water Agreements and Related Water Use in Mexicali Valley: A Summary

      DeCook, K. J.; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A summary is given of interrelated, technical and institutional events concerning the Colorado River which took place between the United States and Mexico from 1849 to 1974 with emphasis on the 1961-1974 period. Until the treaty of 1944, Mexico had had no guarantee of a specific annual quantity of water, but in the years after 1945, when a guarantee of 1.5 million acre-feet per year was established, more than that amount was available for use. Salinity problems arose, and in 1965 an agreement for a 5-year plan for alleviating the technical and political difficulties surrounding the salinity question was made. In 1973 it was agreed that the United States would build, within approximately 5 years, a facility for desalting the saline drainage water entering Mexico. Fulfillment of the technical provisions for this agreement requires, in any event, the timely provision of federal funds to construct and operate the physical works. The several states should receive assurance that their rights and those of their respective water users will not be impaired within the legal operation of the agreement.
    • Water Resource Alternatives for Power Generation in Arizona

      Smith, Stephen E.; DeCook, K. James; Fazzolare, Rocco A.; Nuclear Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson; Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      An examination of potential water sources for power plant cooling in Arizona is presented along with information pertinent to Arizona's future water needs relative to electrical usage growth. It has been projected that Arizona's peak electrical power demands in 1980 and 1990 will exceed that of 1970 by some 5000 megawatts and 16000 megawatts of electricity respectively. At present, the bulk of the electrical energy generated in the western states originates at hydroelectric installations. Utilization of nuclear reactors for power generation requires a larger amount of cooling water than is required for a comparable fossil-fueled plant. It is suggested that the utilization of reclaimed wastewater for cooling purposes is a viable and attractive alternative to groundwater pumpage from both economic and ecological standpoints. Savings arise from conservation of fuel normally required for well pumps, costs of well construction are not required, quantities of fresh water should be released for consumption by alternate users, and a previously unused resource would be effectively recycled.
    • Water Resources Research on Forest and Rangelands in Arizona (invited)

      Hibbert, Alden R. (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A progressive and coordinated effort is underway to provide a sound technical basis for managing water resources on forest and rangelands in the Southwest. An in-house Forest Service (USDA) research program including pilot testing and economic evaluations of multiple-use alternatives provides information necessary for this purpose. Demands for other goods and services also are increasing on these lands in the face of a burgeoning population. homeseekers, vacationers, and recreationists seek a variety of recreational. experiences that require open space and a relatively undisturbed environment. Frequently these uses conflict, and the combined pressure from too many activities can damage the environment. A new research effort has been organized in the central and southern Rocky Mountain Region to cope with these problems. Nine Western universities including Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and University of Arizona have joined forces with the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station to form the Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. Simply stated, the consortium seeks to better our understanding of the relationships between man and his open-space environment in order that its quality might be maintained.