Grady Gammage Jr. speaks on myriad topics with Scottsdale Rotarians

Rotarian Jim Bruner, Grady Gammage, Jr and Club President, Charlie Kester greet members and guests at recent Rotary Club of Scottsdale luncheon meeting. (Submitted Photo)

Grady Gammage Jr. spoke to Rotary Club of Scottsdale members and guests at a luncheon meeting at Scottsdale’s McCormick Ranch Golf Club’s Pavilion, 7505 E. McCormick Parkway.

While introducing Mr. Gammage, Rotarian Jim Bruner noted Mr. Gammage is a part time academic, practicing lawyer, author, sometime real estate developer and elected official, a press release states.

During his talk, Mr. Gammage shared highlights from his recent book, “The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons From Sustaining Phoenix.” He shared responses and rebuttals about numerous topics and issues.

One was his belief that Arizona is running out of water. Mr. Gammage said variability of rainfall makes for sustainability and most places use what is collected annually, according to a release.

He said Arizona leads the world in “banking water” during high rainfall and maintains a 12-year banked supply.

Arizona uses today the same amount of water it used in 1957 and crops and people are grown in the same place, Mr. Gammage said. When agriculture is replaced by population and development, water is saved.

Crops use more water than people. The Valley will always have drinking water, Gammage stated, however it would be wise to cut back on agriculture, landscaping, pools and golf courses.

Mr. Gammage also spoke about how Arizona is 45th in creation of gases and how, he said, the state is contributing less to climate change, a release states. He also said it is cheaper, cleaner and less power is used to cool houses and businesses than it takes to heat them.

Mr. Gammage went on to talk about what he sees as a car problem and how the Valley is 39th in traffic congestion. He also spoke about how he believes the public is embracing the light rail and public transit can reduce problems cars can bring.

He discussed urban sprawl and how the area from Phoenix to Tucson has a greater population density to land area than most other highly-populated parts of the U.S.

Mr. Gammage concluded on how he believes the Valley is more economically diverse than other major U.S. cities and how it is much safer to live in since there are not as many natural disasters.

At the meeting, members also welcomed the club’s newest Rotarian: Matthew Graham, District Director at Grand Canyon Council BSA (Boy Scouts of America).

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