Amid drought, Arizona contemplates a fraught idea: Piping in water from Mexico

Published on

Share the read

Proposal by a private consortium to build Mexican desalination plant comes as surprise to some on state’s water authority.

Start the new year right with a jawdropping dispatch from our #climateadaptation future:

An Israeli-led group of private investors has made an unsolicited offer to build the world’s largest desalination plant on the Gulf of California to supply south- and central Arizona with 1 million acre-feet of water — an amount roughly equal to what the regions drew from the parched Colorado River last year.

The catch? Transporting the water would require 200-mile pipelines across an international border, through a U.S. national monument (and international biosphere reserve), and disrupt the salinity of one of the world’s most diverse aquatic ecosystems.

The other catch? The group — which is backed in part by Goldman Sachs — wants a pledge from the state of Arizona to buy the water at an unspecified price, which could run to billions of dollars per year. Despite this uncertainty, the state’s Water Infrastructure Finance Authority unanimously voted in December to approve a non-binding resolution to continue studying the proposal, which would be financed entirely with private money.

The lesson? No matter how severe the heat and drought gripping the southwest United States, climate science isn’t destiny. Novel combinations of technology, finance, private investment, and public infrastructure will emerge in response to the pressures facing the region — some more effective than others.

That’s where Climate Alpha comes in. While others focus purely on climate risks, our Resilience Index™ incorporates infrastructure, public spending, and other socio-economic factors for every Zip code in the country — underscoring the uneven geography of the future.

Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about the index, our patent-pending scenario forecaster, and other tools for exploring how, say, the sudden appearance of the world’s largest desalination plant might alter your real estate’s future.

 #climaterisks #extremeheat #heatwaves #megadrought 

more reads

typing

Request Demo