AZCentral: Gov. praises decades of water management

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Arizona Republic reported Arizona leaders are starting to worry that California's water crisis will ensnare Arizona if Congress or the U.S. Interior Department get involved.

At a forum organized by the Salt River Project, Gov. Doug Ducey said in his keynote address that his predecessors and the state's water managers have wisely conserved and banked water in the ground — and that the state shouldn't be penalized for it.

"Historically it's been imperative that Arizona fight for our fair share of this resource," he said.

On 12News Kathleen Ferris, executive director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and Morrison Institute for Public Policy Senior Research Fellow, said Arizona is in great shape.

“Unlike California, we have been planning and investing for just this day, for decades. We’ve been very innovative. We have a resilient water supply,” she said.

Some experts who attended the speech said one of Arizona's wisest moves would be to bolster the state's Department of Water Resources, whose budget was slashed and never restored after the Great Recession.

Dozens of positions were lost at the agency, which "We need to make sure e have a fully empowered Department of Water Resources, and that mean s rebuilding it to its 2008 level," said Sarah Porter, director of the Morrison Institute's Kyl Center for Water Policy.

Arizona must remain wary and protect its economic interests, said Ducey.

READ: Ducey: Don't punish Arizona for its water conservation

ALSO READ: Arizona Daily Star: Ducey: Arizona must continue conservation efforts, protect water