Water legislation could be bad for ag community

House Speaker Andy Tobin
House Speaker Andy Tobin

By Joanna Dodder Nellans | The Daily Courier

Local water officials are being urged to rally to the support of Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin’s major water legislation, in the face of potential opposition from the state’s agricultural community.

House Bill 2338 is scheduled for a House committee hearing on Tuesday. The bill allows local governments and private entities to create public “regional water augmentation authorities” that would help augment local water supplies and infrastructure by allowing members to pool their efforts.

The bill seeks a $30 million general fund appropriation this year for the state’s Water Supply Development Revolving Fund, which has never received any money. The augmentation authorities could then get low-interest loans from the fund.

City of Cottonwood Natural Resources Director Tom Whitmer, who worked for the Arizona Department of Water Resources for 14 years, sent out an email to Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee members this week urging them to call legislators about their support for the bill. He heard the ag community is voicing opposition to the bill to legislators.


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February 2013