Arizona water plan lacks conservation, say Democrats

House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez lays out the agenda Monday for Democrats this legislative session. /Capitol Media Services/ Photo by Howard Fischer


By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

House Democrats are balking at ratifying a proposed drought contingency plan over what they see as a key missing element.

Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez said Thursday many of her members question why there’s nothing in the proposal to require more water conservation.

Instead, it is more focused on finding ways to move water around, particularly to meet the needs of Pinal County farmers. But the Yuma Democrat said that does not deal with the underlying problem that Arizona is using more water than is naturally available.

Fernandez said she’s not trying to hold the package hostage, especially with a Jan. 31 deadline to act or risk having the Bureau of Reclamation come up with its own plan to divide up the limited Colorado River water.

“Yes, we are at a very critical time with only 14 days left,” she said Thursday.

“But I do think it’s do-able,” Fernandez continued. “Conservation is something that’s important.”


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