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How Water Scarcity is affecting the housing Market Across the Southwest.

Housing developments are being halted due to the scarcity of water across the southwestern region. This situation is affecting various locations, from major cities like Phoenix Arizona and Las Vegas to smaller lakeside towns such as Lake Powell. The declining water levels have reached a critical point, causing previously submerged areas near dams, like Cathedral, to reappear on maps. What does this mean for the Southwest at large? What will happen Next?

Here’s a video where Bob travels around to major areas of the southwest that are affecting Arizona’s water levels the most. Along the way Bob interviews an Arizona Senator, discusses an unbelievable deal AZ has with another country, and dives into how the drought plan between the states is currently drafted and who it affects. This video was quite the endeavor. Enjoy!

Big changes are happening in the American southwest. Cities like Phoenix are still growing rapidly, but water levels have dropped drastically, risking future real estate development and even the operations of the Hoover Dam itself. 

With 40 million reliant on the shrinking Colorado River water supply, a potential mass migration could impact the nation and global markets.

The forthcoming years and decades promise transformative changes. To comprehend these changes, it is essential to start with a thorough understanding of the issue at hand and its underlying causes. Exploring this issue requires a broad perspective, given its extensive geographic scope. The narrative’s origin can be traced back to the Pacific Ocean, where large storms, influenced by western trade winds, make their way into the southwest. However, over time, the frequency of these storms has diminished, coinciding with rising temperatures that contribute to soil desiccation.




The southwest US faces a critical water shortage. Annual supply has dropped, while demand rises. A 150-foot drop in water level could disrupt infrastructure, affecting 40 million people, 5 million acres of farmland, and 1.4 million power access points. The federal government might need to intervene to maintain a minimal dam water level.

The old “prior appropriation” water rights system doesn’t address modern challenges. Emergency drought plans distribute water reductions based on priority.




Take a look at the table to the right to see how the water prioritization breakdown in Arizona Works.




As a property management company in Phoenix Arizona we will be feeling the squeeze if we ever hit Cap 3. All residential rentals will be affected.


The dryness of the soil poses a significant challenge, particularly concerning the maintenance of the Colorado River’s water levels. Dry soil has a heightened capacity to absorb water, leading to reduced surface water accumulation. While this characteristic helps mitigate flooding, it also diminishes the accumulation of water available for vital resources. This absorption factor, coupled with the transformation of rain into snow due to decreased temperatures, results in less snowmelt runoff into the Colorado River during springtime.

Why haven’t affected states acted? The complex water distribution, growth, and competing interests hinder solutions. The cattle industry, a major water user, contributes to scarcity via water-intensive feed crops. Exports worsen this.

Solutions involve curbing water use across sectors. Some limit water-heavy agriculture with “farrow” cycles and new farm restrictions. But localized fixes fall short.

Change demands new water practices, landscape choices, and rights allocation. Water-saving tech, lawn reductions, and cross-state collaboration are vital. Balancing growth, sustainability, and water usage is key for the future. Through wise management and innovative policies, the region can overcome this challenge and thrive.