Agriculture consumes about 74% of available water supply in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Water Resources website.
Homes, commercial businesses, industry, schools, government buildings, golf courses, landscaping, swimming pools and every other non-agriculture usage of water only amounts to 26% of Arizona’s available water supply. A huge amount of water is wasted in Arizona by growing water thirsty crops like cotton, alfalfa and sorghum in, of all places, the Sonora Desert.
Less than 900 cotton farmers in Arizona use as much water annually as 1.5 million Phoenix residents. To add insult to injury, almost all the heavily government subsidized cotton grown in Arizona is baled up and shipped to Egypt. No added value jobs are created for Arizona workers. Non-farm workers do pay federal taxes to keep the cotton farmers in business.
Let’s get smart and ban the agricultural usage of water to grow crops that are totally unsuitable for the Sonora desert, and stop beating up on golf courses and Sun City homeowners.