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Growth in Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas will not be curtailed due to water supply issues for at least the next 10-15 years, according to Fitch Ratings.
Fitch Ratings, an internationally recognized leader in financial markets and independent research, issued its report about the water supply earlier this week and noted that "Arizona has a more diverse water supply with 40% coming from groundwater. Reduced allocation from the Colorado River would likely impact local agriculture first, as users without long-term water contracts are lower in the state's water hierarchy. Agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption in the state."
"It is very reassuring to have Fitch Ratings conclude that Phoenix and Tucson's water supply is adaptable and resilient. As recently quantified by an economic development study commissioned by CAP and conducted by the ASU Carey School of Business, the delivery of Colorado River water by CAP creates jobs in all sectors of our economy and is crucial to maintaining and attracting new business to the state," said Pam Pickard, President of the Board of Central Arizona Project.
CAP planning and financial personnel held teleconferences with Fitch and other rating agencies early in 2014 about the Colorado River and water issues in the Southwest. "All of the rating agencies have excellent research staff and the individuals we spoke with were very knowledgeable," said Ted Cooke, Assistant General Manager for Finance and Information Technology.
"However, notwithstanding their good internal resources and understanding of the issues, Fitch wanted to connect with local experts on Arizona and Colorado River issues. I believe that our conversations deepened their understanding and appreciation of these complex issues and gave them important perspective to better frame and communicate them," he said.
"We are pleased that Fitch and others reached out to us for our expertise, listened to us, did their research and have concurred with our analysis," Pickard said.