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No groundwater, no new homes, as Arizona severely restricts new housing

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Scottsdale aerial view

Enlarge / Aerial view of a subdivision in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale. (credit: dszc via Getty)

The nation’s fifth-largest city and surrounding metropolitan area is officially tapped out of groundwater, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Thursday, adding another item to the state’s long list of water woes.

By 2121, the Phoenix metro area will be short of nearly 5 million acre feet of water—enough water for around 17 million homes—under a new groundwater model released Thursday by the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

That means any new development in the region that hasn’t had its water guaranteed will have to rely on another source of water, such as the Colorado River and other local rivers, or on yet-to-be developed sources like desalinated ocean water, recycled wastewater, or groundwater pumped from other basins in the state, to ensure existing homes and developments have the water they need in the future.

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