Bill seeks $6.1 million and more hydrologists for Arizona Department of Water Resources

Water is precious in Arizona, but the department charged with managing it has long been underfunded and understaffed./Elizabeth Whitman

By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times

A bill in the Arizona Legislature seeks to allocate an extra $6.1 million to the under-resourced Arizona Department of Water Resources so it can hire more employees, including scientists.

The bill was pre-filed on December 31, 2019, by Democratic State Representative Rosanna Gabaldón, whose District 2 covers parts of Pima and Santa Cruz counties, not far from areas like the Willcox Basin that suffer from dropping levels of groundwater.

The suggested $6.1 million would come from the state’s general fund, coming on top of other appropriations eventually allocated to the Department of Water Resources for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

The money would be used “to hire additional hydrologists, groundwater flow modelers, and support staff members,” the bill says. It does not specify how many.

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