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ASU Launches Initiative To Flip Water Conversation From Scarcity To Abundance

Central Arizona Project canal
(Photo via azwater.gov)
Completed in 1993, the Central Arizona Project is the largest aqueduct system in the country, stretching 336 miles.

When discussing water issues, words like conservation and drought often come to mind. But at the recent White House Water Summit, an ASU professor announced a new initiative to turn water conversations from scarcity to abundance.

The five-year initiative called Future H20 will be lead by ASU’s John Sabo, who said there’s a truth to keep in mind.

“You know we live on a blue planet," Sabo said. "But, less than a tenth of a percent of that blue we see from space is available as freshwater.”

Sabo said that’s plenty, but we need to look at and approach water issues smarter.

“There is a lot of water on the planet," said Sabo. "It’s just a matter of how to make it available. And some of those answers are technological, some of them are education and some of them have to do with management of institutions and making institutions work better.”

Future H20 aims to reduce outdoor water use, give research and advice to large corporate water consumers, develop 1,000 water leaders, create a food-water-energy technology test bed and enhance the use of data for water management.

Sabo said the big challenge will be turning research into action through public and private partnerships.

News Science
Andrew Bernier was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2016.