Water? Who needs it? You do

Americans are moving in droves to the hottest and driest parts of the country.

A Vox article (here) says, “Leading the way in growth was Maricopa County in Arizona, home to Phoenix, a desert metropolis that receives more sunshine than any other major city on Earth — and averages more than 110 days with highs of at least 100°F,” and notes “there were 338 heat-associated deaths last year in Maricopa County.”

“Despite that — and worse to come — the population in Maricopa increased by 14 percent over the last decade, to nearly 4.5 million people,” Vox said, noting “a similar pattern is at work” in other areas that have high storm, flood, and wildfire risks. (Rural California, for example.)

Arizona is a retiree haven with plenty of golf courses, and a bad place to raise children, because to keep taxes low they don’t invest in schools. Arizona teachers are among the nation’s worst-paid, and the state ranks #48 in spending on K-12 schools; only Utah and Idaho spend less per student on education.

Why do people move there? Because the Southwest has more affordable housing, lower taxes, and a lower overall cost of living. Vox says, “What the fast-growing cities of the Southwest [also] have going for them is … more jobs and a better chance at economic mobility. … For many Americans, that’s worth the trade-off of worsening heat waves and other extreme weather.”

Yes, but there’s no water. (See story here.)

Also, as the region keeps getting hotter, residents will increasingly be at the mercy of utilities that provide electricity to run air conditioners. And when Lakes Mead and Powell reach dead pool, which isn’t far away, the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams will quit generating juice, which will have to come from somewhere else. (Yeah, but Phoenix is a great place to install solar!)

In 2014, the Arizona Department of Water Resources “projected colliding trend lines of rapid growth and declining water supply that plainly showed that the status quo will not hold in Arizona,” and warned that “home buyer beware” warnings may go up in the future.

You’re reading one right here, but I doubt anyone will heed it. The typical American doesn’t look beyond next week and the next paycheck.

Photo below: Almost out of water for generating power

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