Panel takes step to secure water supply in Pinal County

By Andrew Nicla | Arizona Capitol Times

In the face of a report that says Pinal County is going dry, a small group of Arizona lawmakers took the first step in helping assure the county has enough groundwater for decades to come and avoid a potential shortfall.

Rep David Cook, R-Globe, chaired a panel of lawmakers on November 13, which voted to appoint three Pinal County water stakeholders to head a group of government, utility, agriculture, development, tribal and local organizations tasked to create a better framework to allocate groundwater and balance competing interests.

This process is new territory for Arizona, which is grappling with the realities of sustainable balancing continued economic growth while facing dwindling water supplies. Lawmakers asked the three architects of the group to be bold, knowing that they will fully support their proposals if needed in the Legislature.

The lawmakers were also joined by Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke. Last month, ADWR released a new groundwater model that projects Pinal County won’t have enough water to meet the expected demands of projected growth.

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