By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times
Governor Doug Ducey and the board of the Central Arizona Project have each pledged to give $5 million to Pinal County farmers to develop groundwater infrastructure as Arizona prepares for cuts to Colorado River water supplies.
The board voted to authorize up to $5 million during its monthly board meeting on Thursday. At that meeting, officials from the Central Arizona Project and the Arizona Department of Water Resources also shared that Ducey would request $5 million in his executive budget.
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“It hasn’t been discussed publicly, previously,” said Sally Stewart Lee, a spokesperson for the Department of Water Resources, in confirming that the $5 million was specifically for groundwater infrastructure. She said that stakeholders had started privately discussing that funding in mid-December, noting that Thursday’s meeting was the first public opportunity since then for officials to mention it.
Asked for comment, Patrick Ptak, a spokesperson for Ducey’s office, deferred to the water resources department.