“Water security and the worth of Ariz. agriculture” from ASU News

April 11, 2014

Thanks to interviewees Ron Rayner, Brian Betcher, Mike Lacey, and Dave White for sharing their time and expertise on water and agricultural issues for this new video produced by ASU News:

ASU researchers and local farmers discuss the issue of water usage in agriculture, which uses two-thirds of Arizona’s water demand.

Central Arizona has a rich history of agriculture, contributing $9.2 billion toward the state’s economy. That water has near-absolute power in determining the region’s fate is not an over-reaching assumption. With increasing urban development and uncertain climate, is this industry doomed or can it be sustained?

A news story accompanying the video states, in part:

The scientists found that most farmers in the region are educated, motivated, entrepreneurial producers who are eager to learn more about water conservation and irrigation improvement programs to ensure that agriculture remains an integral part of the state’s future. Yet, they feel they lack a voice.

“Farmers say their needs are not valued as much as those dealing with urban demands,” Eakin said. “Key players need to be asked pointed questions regarding what is desired and why, and the pros and cons of retaining an agrarian footprint in the region.”

and:

“States all over the Southwest are facing a similar situation,” she said. “A bigger picture that takes into consideration the benefits of agriculture, including food security, revenue, jobs and heat island mitigation, would help to inform the decision-making process that will ultimately lead to central Arizona’s sustainable future.”

Read the full accompanying story here on the ASU News site.

 

 

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