Eloy, Arizona – Just a few years ago, Arizona entered the monsoon as it experienced the worst drought in recent memory.
Although we have recovered from extreme drought conditions, we are grappling with other issues with our state’s water.
Almost the entire state is completely free from drought of any kind, but that could change quickly in just a few months.
A below-average monsoon could bring us back to where we started when it comes to water issues. Many farms in Pinal County, such as Kaywood, are supplied with water from the Gila River basin.
Nancy Kawood grows cotton on the farm with her family and has been growing cotton for five generations.
she said, “There was a flood in 1993. Since then, neither rain nor snow has returned the water. I guess.”
The Gila River is not the only source of water for the region. There’s also the Coolidge Dam, but it’s had its own problems over the last few years.
“The temperature has dropped so low that the water cannot be released, and our farm has gone completely dormant.”
With this entire part of the state in the Sonoran Desert, it’s clear that plants like wheat and cotton that Nancy grows need a little more care than wheat in the Midwest and cotton in the South.
“Our average rainfall is very low. We have to irrigate, but we cannot do dryland farming. will be.”
While the current picture is positive on water, there are some long-term concerns for Arizona farmers.
“We are keeping an eye on the weather forecast, but for now it is forecast that an El Niño event will occur, causing more water inflow and possibly more pooling behind the dam. We have to be optimistic.”