Ducey vetoes water bills affecting Cochise County

The San Pedro flows through Sierra Vista/AZPM staff
The San Pedro flows through Sierra Vista/AZPM staff

Arizona Public Media

Gov. Doug Ducey Monday vetoed two bills that would exempt some cities from the state’s strict water requirements and give Cochise and Yuma counties opportunities to opt out.

“I will not sign legislation that threatens Arizona’s water future,” Ducey said in vetoing the bills that were pushed through the Legislature last week by Sen. Gail Griffith, a Republican from the Cochise County community of Hereford.

Senate Bill 1400 would have exempted Sierra Vista from the state’s requirement, in place since 1980, that new developments prove there is enough water for 100 years. Developer Castle and Cooke, which has plans for up to 7,000 houses in the city, has said there is a century’s worth of water, but others dispute it.

Senate Bill 1268 would have allowed Cochise and Yuma counties to decide periodically if they want in or out of the 100-year water requirement, via a vote of their boards of supervisors.

“While I appreciate the sponsor’s efforts to protect Arizona from federal overreach, I’m concerned S.B. 1268 and S.B. 1400 would encourage a patchwork of water ordinances throughout our cities and leave our water supply securities in peril,” Ducey said in his veto message.


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May 2016