By Kevin Reagan | PinalCentral
State Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, expects water to be a major topic for legislators as they reconvene next month in the capitol.
In a recent interview, Shope said water will be a time-sensitive issue since the state only has until the end of January to come up with a solution.
The federal government has threatened to impose restrictions on how Colorado River water is allocated, if Southwestern states don’t come up with plan by Jan. 31.
Shope said negotiations are ongoing and indicated the state will need to prepare for the prospect of having to pump more groundwater in the future.
“There is no doubt that we are in the midst of an everlasting drought,” said Shope, adding he will make sure farmers in Pinal County won’t be forgotten about in the water debate.
The long-term drought plans have envisioned Pinal County farmers getting and using less Colorado River in the future. Because of this, Gov. Doug Ducey has previously said it makes sense to allow Pinal farmers more access to groundwater.