Pinal water-study pushback

This canal channels Central Arizona Project water to farmland in Pinal County. / Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

There is push back over assertions that fast-growing Pinal County does not have enough water to keep up with long-term growth.

An analysis of an Arizona Department of Water Resources report on Pinal’s current water use and potential future needs shows there are more than 9.7 million-acre feet of water entitled long-term for future growth in the county.

That equates to 291,000 homes and is 5 times the existing use of 2 million acres of water over 100 years.

The attention from the ADWR report stems from a potential 8 million-acre feet of water deficit over 100 years.

The ADWR projections are not based in actual growth in Pinal County but instead comes from what builders, developers, farmers and other users are potentially proposing.

“We are diligently working with the development community and state government to find solutions to the issues raised in the report,” Jordan Rose, Rose Law Group founder and president, said.

Pinal County leaders are still focused on the intersection of growth and water without pushing a panic button.

They point to how farmers and municipalities have used efficiencies, conservation and innovation related to water supplies and aquifers for years.

Pinal County has been and is projected to be one of the fastest growing jurisdictions in the country. The likes of Maricopa, Casa Grande, Florence, Coolidge and the San Tan Valley are seeing residential growth. Planned Nikola Motor Company and Lucid Motors manufacturing plants are also slated for the county.

Pinal County and water resource stakeholders are commissioning a $1.36 million study on growth projections and water supplies.

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