Here’s why water must be Arizona’s top public-policy debate:
The federal government tightened the screws on the overtaxed Colorado River Friday, announcing that it will cut water releases from Lake Powell to Lake Mead for the first time ever starting in October.
The Central Arizona Project - this section is in Avra Valley - carries Colorado River water from Lake Mead toward Tucson. Officials say there is a 35 percent chance of the first CAP water shortage in history in 2016.
Another year of very low precipitation and snowpack in the Rocky Mountains has spurred another year of low runoff on the Colorado River - the 10th such year out of the past 14.
The Colorado River, volatile as ever, is expected to run far below normal this year in Arizona following a near-record high 2011 runoff, authorities said Wednesday.