By Kathleen Ferris | The Republic
The heart of this conflict boils down to who’s in charge of Arizona’s Colorado River water issues
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)
What might seem to be an obscure lawsuit in federal court has potentially damaging consequences for water management in Arizona.
The case involves the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, which operates the Central Arizona Project, and one of its former employees.
The district alleges it’s not liable to the employee because it has “sovereign immunity,” meaning it can’t be sued by citizens of this state. But the Arizona Department of Water Resources has filed a “friend of the court” brief challenging that assertion.
“It’s fascinating how an employment law case turns on the power and functions of state agencies. However, the outcome of this case could have serious ramifications for the future of water management in Arizona. We have a system that works well, directed by our governor and implemented by his staff and agencies. We should hope that Arizona’s successful record on water management is not disrupted by unintended consequences.”