Arizona considers piping water from Mexico as Colorado River dwindles

A state board tasked with vetting water supply augmentation proposals for Arizona on Tuesday passed a nonbinding resolution in support of a potentially massive seawater desalination plant in Mexico’s Sea of ​​Cortez.

A partnership led by Israeli desalination specialists IDE Technologies pitched the multibillion-dollar plan to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona’s board, saying it could replace or complement declining Colorado River water that flows through the Central Arizona Project’s canal. The plant would remove salt from seawater and pump it north into the canal, where it would flow through Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties.

This is the first move toward evaluating a water project that state lawmakers this year committed more than $1 billion toward, heeding Gov. Doug Ducey’s call to support desalination and other efforts. Some of the lawmakers who supported it recoiled at what they called the rushed nature of this resolution, having only been sprung on members last week. Ducey leaves office in January.