THERE'S LITTLE ARGUMENT that the Central Arizona Project is pretty much a wash. The federal government spent $2 billion to bring the Colorado River to our parched little valley and now we don't even want to flush it down our toilets.
Opinions are aflow like salty brown water, but only one thing is crystal clear: It's going to cost a lot of money to wipe up this mess. All of the options in front of us, from surface recharge to well injection to treated direct delivery, promise to soak the taxpayer. And that's not even including the two billion clams the state still owes the Feds.
Face it--this kind of financial crisis calls for a splash of creative thinking. And we think we've found one: Canal Casinos.
We ask the Arizona Legislature to approve gambling operations alongside the CAP canal. Hell, we can even add an air of class and build them in the shape of riverboats. Imagine fully equipped casinos, with table games, spinning roullette wheels, slot machines and those always-thrilling Colorado Chorus Girls.
Since we like to support private enterprise, we'll license a firm to build and run the gambling operations. Minus a management fee, the money our less fortunate citizens lose trickles directly to a fund earmarked for the payment of our water debt.
After all, why should all that money citizens of Arizona lose while gambling spill over into foreign nations? Why shouldn't it go to the state government, to ease our tax woes?
We propose that the city and the county pool their resources and come up with 20 or 30 grand for a consultant to conduct a feasibilility study. After we cross that river, we should probably pour another $60 grand into a lobbyist to float the idea around the Legislature next year.
See you in the buffet line!
We here at The Weekly are interested in hearing your ideas for our water woes. Fax your favorite CAP ideas to us at 520-792-3630. Flood our e-mail box at email@example.com. Or use old-fashioned snail mail and drop us a line at P.O. Box 2429, Tucson AZ 85702.
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