By Heather Smathers | PinalCentral
State legislators heard updates on water issues facing Arizona, including what a proposed Pinal-focused rule change might mean for the county’s future.
While the group wasn’t explicitly focused on the Pinal extinguishment credits rule change, speakers nonetheless used the time to voice differing opinions on the proposal.
Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, a Pinal County supervisor and member of the ad hoc committee tasked with identifying changes for the current extinguishment credit rule, told PinalCentral he was surprised at the opposition to the proposal, which has been in the works for months. Miller said the mounting opposition has all surfaced in the past month.
The debate is over what rights farmers have in transferring water credits should they decide to sell their agricultural land for future development, whether residential or commercial. But once those proposed developers get the land, it’s what they can do with the water rights, or “paper water,” that’s the issue for some farmers. The rule does not affect land’s use for agriculture.