- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey plans to attend an international conference on water technology in Israel next month as the state continues to expect a potential shortfall in its Colorado River water supply in coming years, his office announced Wednesday.

Ducey will travel to Tel Aviv with the state’s water resources director and a delegation of business and other leaders.

The conference will allow Ducey and other state leaders to learn about emerging technologies used in other nations, Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said.

“Arizona has and will continue to be a leader when it comes to effective water planning, and this conference will allow our state to learn from and share with leaders from all across the country,” Scarpinato said in a statement.

University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center director Sharon Megdal is set to speak about efforts to close the gap between supply and demand in the Colorado River Basin.

The Water Technology & Environment Control Exhibition & Conference, set for Oct. 13-15, brings together experts from Israel and other nations that are working to develop sustainable water-use solutions in a time of growing populations, industrial growth and climate change.

Federal water managers in May project the water level in Lake Mead along the Colorado River will fall below a point in January 2017 that would force supply cuts to Arizona and Nevada. Arizona’s allocation of Colorado River water could be cut 11.4 percent, or by an amount normally used by more than 600,000 homes.

Arizona has planned for a potential shortfall for decades and has nearly 9 million acre feet of water stored underground - more than the approximately 7 million acre feet a year used by industry, agriculture and by its than 6.5 million residents.

Ducey has urged the federal government to protect Arizona’s water supply against cutbacks as neighboring California deals with a historic drought. He also wants support for conservation programs throughout the entire Colorado River system.

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