Letter: Water policy

EDITOR:

The Verde River Basin Partnership recently sent a letter commending Gov. Doug Ducey for his vetoes of SB 1400 and 1268.

Passage of SB 1400 would have weakened the 100-year water adequacy requirements by county supervisors for new subdivisions outside of active management areas in Arizona because supervisors of affected counties would have had to renew their authority every five years — and do so unanimously.

Additionally, SB 1268 would have permitted cities outside of active management areas to ignore the adequate water supply rules their counties had adopted. Ducey’s veto action was vital during this time of unprecedented stress on our water resources, and as the Governor stated, we need to continue to move forward to sustain these resources.

It is in this context that the Partnership encourages the Governor’s office to develop solutions that address the long-term problems facing rural Arizona. Unfortunately, when state leaders instituted our current water-resource management practices, they largely left out rural Arizona.

As a result, areas such as the Verde River Basin now face increasing water-resource challenges without adequate tools to address them. Now is the time for the state to help provide leadership. We are ready to assist the Governor’s office at any time in this regard.

The Verde River Basin Partnership, specifically founded as a result of federal legislation sponsored by Sen. John McCain and others, is a community-based organization dedicated to working on collaborative solutions to sustain the Verde River and our region’s water resources. The Partnership appreciates the Governor’s leadership in vetoing SB 1400 and 1268 and creating the Water Initiative. If we can be of assistance, the Governor’s office may contact the Partnership by email at info@vrbp.org or by mail at P.O. Box 1831, Cottonwood, AZ 86326.

Edward W. Wolfe, Ph.D., Chairman

Verde River Basin Partnership

Cottonwood