Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:46 pm

Far beyond a water balloon fight

Allhands: Water will be the issue in 2018, and that scares me more than it should

By Joanna Allhands | The Republic

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)

Education funding will be the big fight at the Legislature next year, right?

Wrong, because water policy will suck up the oxygen first. And as much as I want that to be a good thing, I’m not convinced that it is.

Here’s the problem: Gov. Doug Ducey convened groups a few months ago to iron out big, wrinkly issues, like how to handle groundwater overuse in rural areas and whether there’s a fairer way to make cuts once a shortage is declared along the Colorado River.

The good news is, everyone is still at the table and actively trying to iron out their issues.

But those involved in the closed-door discussions tell me they are no closer to finalizing a set of principles that will guide expected legislation. And that’s bad, because we’re just about a month before the legislative session starts, and it seems like almost everyone with a stake in Arizona water policy is fighting over it.

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