PHOENIX — The person who oversees the flow of water to hundreds of thousands of Phoenix homes is now preparing for a worst-case scenario in which a depleted water source becomes a “deadpool.”

Water Services Director Kathryn Sorensen says on this weekend’s ‘Sunday Square Off” that she is calling for spending $1.5 billion and boosting Phoenix water rates at least 12 percent over two years, to ready the city for the possible “crashing” of Lake Mead, a source of 40 percent of Phoenix’s water.

Half a billion dollars of that spending would pay for equipment to access water the city has stored in case of a crisis.

“There's a lot of energy right now focused on making sure the Colorado River system doesn't crash, doesn't collapse. But it is a real danger,” Sorensen said.

Federal water officials have forecast a 1-in-5 chance Lake Mead could go into a death spiral within the next eight years.

The Phoenix City Council could take up the water plan as soon as next month.

Also on "Square Off":

  • The Arizona Republic's Craig Harris discusses his reporting on charter school millionaires. Harris’ most recent reporting found Republican State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth could earn up to $30 million from the sale of his charter schools.
  • Arizona State Senate candidate Kathy Knecht, a Peoria School Board member, explains why she's running as an independent in the longtime West Valley Republican stronghold of Legislative District 21.

Knecht faces GOP State Sen. Rick Gray, who was appointed to the seat after Republican Debbie Lesko resigned in January to run for Congress. Lesko barely won her home district in her successful campaign for Congress in April.

Gray has informed me can’t attend any debates or interviews on “Square Off” because of other commitments.

“Sunday Square Off” airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd.

Phoenix preps for worst-case water scenario

(see video above)

Phoenix water services director Kathryn Sorensen explains why she’s concerned a key city water source could “crash” within the next few years.

Phoenix water bills could jump more than 12%

Phoenix residents could see their water bills jump more than 12 percent if the City Council approves a plan to help deal with the potential loss of a key water source.

It’s legal. But should charter school be road to riches?

The Arizona Republic's Craig Harris discusses his reporting on charter school millionaires. There are new calls for greater accountability in how charter owners spend public tax dollars.

This independent candidate for LD 21 could swing power to Democrats

State Senate candidate Kathy Knecht, a Peoria School Board member, explains why she's running as an independent in the West Valley Republican stronghold of Legislative District 21. A Knecht victory could help tilt control of the Senate to Democrats.