By Heather Smathers | Maricopa Monitor
Water users heard from state and local leaders Monday on the future of water for Pinal County.
Specifically, the agriculture industry will be the hardest hit in Pinal, with farmers and ranchers expected to lose the largest share of the allocation from the Colorado River. Currently, Colorado River water is pumped via a 330-mile aqueduct by the Central Arizona Project to Pinal.
Brian Betcher, general manager of the Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District, said that when talks began for creating the Drought Contingency Plan, an intergovernmental agreement between seven states, the federal government and the government of Mexico in addition to myriad tribal and local interests, the MSIDD thought there still was a chance that the district could continue to receive substantial CAP water.
“But, that’s not possible,” he said simply to those assembled Monday morning for a joint meeting of the Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority and the Pinal Groundwater Users Advisory Committee.