Water in the Desert

Tempe Town Lake

Water Scarcity in a Globalized World

The issue of water scarcity in Tempe is a pertinent one. In order to arrive at an effective solution for this problem, it is important to address the main causes, as well as the demand and supply solutions that have already been implemented, and why the city chose those particular campaigns.

The main causes of water scarcity in Tempe are climate and a growing population. Tempe’s desert climate denotes high temperatures, an arid environment, low annual rainfall, and little vegetation. All of these factors affect the availability of water. High temperature increases evaporation, essentially stripping the land of the little water received by rare rainfall. Plants use much of the water that does seep into the ground in order to prevent desiccation. Even with a good irrigation system, Tempe’s climate limits the amount of water that can be brought to local homes. Furthermore, the city’s growing population means the water supply is in danger of not being able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand due to urban expansion.

Tempe has implemented various demand and supply solutions in response to the imminent danger of a catastrophic water shortage. To address the issue of demand, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District has developed a process called “Access to Excess”, in which stakeholders must come to a consensus about how excess water is used. Allocation is discussed in depth, and distribution is carefully monitored. The Central Arizona Project has also constructed outreach programs to inform the public about water scarcity issues and solutions. To address the issue of supply, Tempe uses a share of the water from the Colorado River, as well as using levees and a seepage recovery system in Tempe Town Lake. Also, Tempe’s Kyrene Water Reclamation Facility has recently been updated to be able to supply twice the amount of water as before. The city even won a GE ecomagination Leadership Award for its innovative techniques1.

There are specific reasons for the implementation of each of the previously mentioned campaigns. The Access to Excess process aims to prevent water waste by compelling viable candidate pools to provide a template for water use, rather than blindly handing out water usage rights. Outreach programs help the public understand the severity of the situation and encourage them to be more aware of personal water consumption. Tempe uses water from the Colorado River to help supply inhabitants with better quality water. This is a viable option because the Colorado River has a water surplus, while the area around Tempe is arid. Updating Tempe’s water reclamation facility doubled its distribution capacity, increasing water supply to inhabitants.

The pressing issue of water scarcity in Tempe should not be taken lightly. Due to various demand and supply issues, the city has taken many steps to ensure the future of quality water for the area. Each campaign has a purpose, and solutions are brewing to help prevent local water scarcity in a globalized world.

1 Tempe inTouch, http://www.tempe.gov/newsroom/Archive/200905/8198AB4D-324F-4F8F-A9D9-CB03A70E8D66

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Happy Shark Week!

As Shark Week comes to a close, we recap some of last week’s top stories about these fascinating creatures.

Andy Samberg is Shark Week’s Chief Shark Officer

Andy Samberg hosted all shark-shows last week for Discovery Channel’s 24th year of celebrating Shark Week! The big quarter century anniversary is coming up next year, watch out! Andy told CNN’s The Marquee Blog that this was a childhood dream of his. As part of his Chief Shark Office duties, Samberg chilled out with a sizable group of Caribbean reef shark while hosting Shark City, a Meerkat Mannor approach to introducing viewers to the individual shark personalities. Samberg even proposed a skit during which he ‘accidentally’ tipped his chair backwards, falling blindly into shark-infested waters.

Samberg, originally known for being a member of the comedy group The Lonely Island and a cast member on Saturday Night Live, tackled all of his hosting challenges with humor, creativity, and a little bit of self-implemented naivety – which would come in handy when trying to mentally prepare himself to voluntarily fall into a group of sharks.Some of the shows Samberg got to host included “Great White Invasion,” “Jaws Comes Home,” “Summer of the Shark,” “Killer Sharks” and more.

 Top 3 Most Dangerous Sharks in Florida Panhandle

#1) Great White: largest (up to 20 ft, 2000 lbs)
amazing ability: rocket out of water to catch prey
prey: seals

#2) Tiger: up to 17 ft, considered the “garbage cans” of the ocean
amazing ability: brute force makes this shark’s bite more forceful than even the Great White
prey: sea turtles

#3) Bull: up to 11 ft
amazing ability: picks up electric fields from moving prey in order to hunt more efficiently
prey: other sharks (black tip, bonnethead, etc.)

Shark City – One of Shark Week’s Most Popular Shows

In the show Shark City viewers get to know a handful of sharks as individuals. Discovery Channel follow the sharks of the Bahamas through their days and nights to find out how they size each other up, what they like to eat and what it is that they’re afraid of.