Skip to Content

Sustainability Events

How Much Water Does Arizona Need? A Conversation with John Fleck

Decision Center for a Desert City

John Fleck

  • Environmental Journalist
  • Director, New Mexico Water Resources Program
  • Professor of Practice in Water Policy and Governance, University of New Mexico

ASU's Future H2O, Kyl Center at Morrison Institute and Decision Center for a Desert City are pleased to welcome John Fleck to ASU. While news stories highlight the West’s continuing drought and the specter of reduced water supplies, all too often, another important development is overlooked: Demand for water has declined throughout the Colorado River Basin—most notably in cities. In nearly every major metro area in the Southwest, conservation gains are outstripping growth, so that water use is going down even as populations continue to rise and economies continue to grow. Economists call this phenomenon “decoupling”, and it disrupts established water management assumptions that ever larger water supplies are needed to enable our cities to grow.

Having reported on western water issues for over two decades, author John Fleck offers a surprising perspective on western water challenges. John will explain how not conflict but cooperation and innovation have enabled the Southwest to grow and prosper in the face of diminished water supplies, how the new reality of decoupling opens the door to new water management solutions and why we should embrace a more optimistic narrative for the Colorado River.

In the field of water resources, John’s primary interest is in nurturing the collaborative water governance needed to adapt to scarcity in the southwestern United States as populations grow in the face of diminishing water supplies. He also works on translational activities – helping make the technical work done in academia of maximum benefit to political and policy processes.

Join the conversation!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.