Letter: SB1268, SB1400 would be real setback in pursuit of responsible water management
Dear Governor Ducey
The Verde River Institute Board of Directors respectfully recommends that you veto SB1268 (adequate water supply requirements; municipalities) and SB1400 (county water supply provision; renewal).
To allow these bills to become law would materially and severely damage Arizona's reputation and leadership in common sense water management. As you know, our State has worked diligently since the Groundwater Management Act of 1980 to implement strong and forward-looking water management with an eye to ensuring our businesses and citizens would continue to have adequate water supplies for the foreseeable future.
In 2007, the Legislature passed SB1575, under which counties and municipalities not in Active Management Areas could impose upon themselves an additional layer of groundwater management. This was done in two counties: Yuma and Cochise, and in a few cities and towns of extraordinary vision, such as Clarkdale. These locations knew that their water supply was threatened and that if they were to grow responsibly and in a healthy manner, better groundwater management was in order.
Since these two groundbreaking laws were passed, water supplies throughout the state have continued to dwindle due to over-extraction.
This is not a time to sunset these provisions, rather it is time to reassess whether even more effective management tools may be in order.
To allow SB1268 and SB1400 to become law would be a real setback in the pursuit of responsible water management in Arizona. Our State would no longer hold the high ground that brings us the respect of other western states and which gives us a strong place at the bargaining table when we work with others in the Colorado Compact.
We ask, for the sake of responsible and healthy growth and for the sake of our rivers and groundwater that you veto both SB 1268 and SB1400.
Doug Von Gausig
Verde River Institute