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Competition asks innovators for ways to conserve Arizona’s water future

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Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

By Katrina Arroyos


COLTON KROLAK/CRONKITE NEWS: A new contest is challenging people to conserve water – with a chance to $100,000. As Katrina Arroyos reports, the Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media and Morrison Institute for Public Policy are teaming up to look for the best ideas.

KATRINA ARROYOS/CRONKITE NEWS: The Water Consciousness Challenge is aimed to create the Arizona of tomorrow and raise awareness for water supply in Arizona.

STEVE SELEZNOW/ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION: In Phoenix and the Valley we’ve done a great job of managing our water and banking out water, so we have plenty of water today.

KATRINA ARROYOS/CRONKITE NEWS: But the challenge is to focus on the future. There seems to be a lot of water right now, but the Arizona Department of Water Resources says by 2030 the state will see a greater imbalance of water supply and demand if changes aren’t made.

For this reason, agencies say the community has to take action today to conserve water for the future, especially over the next few years, as Phoenix grows in population.

STEVE SELEZNOW/ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION: We are anticipating continued growth in Arizona.

KATRINA ARROYOS/CRONKITE NEWS: Groups who choose to participate in the Water Consciousness Challenge will create a strategic plan to raise public awareness of the water scarcity in Arizona’s future. The winning group of the challenge will receive $100,000 to implement their idea in Maricopa County.

This challenge follows a tradition of collaboration and innovation.

STEVE SELEZNOW/PRESIDENT & CEO ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION: Thirty to 40 years ago there was a group of leaders here in Arizona who said, “Listen we need to figure out how to bring water to the Valley and we need to be really smart and innovative and bold to do that.” And that’s what they did, and that created the Central Arizona Project and the Salt River Project.

KATRINA ARROYOS/CRONKITE NEWS: The agencies hope the ideas created through this challenge will help Arizona for the next 30 years.

COLTON KROLAK/CRONKITE NEWS: Groups interested in participating in the challenge can register at by Dec. 19.