The Price of Uncertainty

Reports and Publications
March 2018
Kathleen Ferris, Sarah Porter, Grady Gammage Jr.

What water-related questions do people at the cutting edge of economic development ask when evaluating a site for potential investment? To find out, the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute surveyed corporate site location consultants and real estate developers who work in Arizona. The results of this survey are presented in the Kyl Center’s new report, The Price of Uncertainty.
Our surveys confirmed that today there is a heightened awareness of the importance of secure water supplies. But our survey respondents also made clear that they don’t have time to work through complications regarding water rights. Sites with uncertainty regarding the legal availability of water “eliminate themselves.”
Unfortunately, many Arizona land owners and communities lack the water supply certainty, and this stands to impair economic development and sustainable water stewardship. One of the biggest impediments is the Gila Watershed Adjudication, a court proceeding to determine the nature and priority of some 57,000 water rights claims. The Price of Uncertainty explores how the Gila Adjudication clouds the water certainty individuals, businesses and communities need for sound water stewardship and future prosperity.