Gov. Katie Hobbs issued a ‘wake-up call’ on groundwater. Is anyone listening?

Opinion: Gov. Katie Hobbs offered a clear message on groundwater regulation during her first State of the State address. We’ll see if lawmakers take it to heart.

By Joanna Allhands ||Arizona Republic

Gov. Katie Hobbs called it a “wake-up call” on water.

Whether it is remains to be seen.

The newly elected governor spent a good chunk of her first State of the State address talking about the “challenge of our time: Arizona’s decades-long drought, over usage of the Colorado River, and the combined ramifications on our water supply, our forests and our communities.”

She released a long-awaited model that shows parts of the far West Valley don’t have enough groundwater to sustain all users for the long term (more on that in a second).

And she called for swift action – particularly to address rural groundwater problems that have been festering for decades.

It’s the right tone, but will lawmakers agree?

Hobbs struck the tone that many in the water community have long sought from elected leaders – one that noted we’re not playing around, that there are consequential decisions we must make (and soon) to protect our dwindling water supplies.

But how willing is the Legislature to play along?


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January 2023