Cronkite News: State's water agency funds dipping

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cronkite News reports that deep cuts in funding and staffing the Arizona Department of Water Resources are alarming Arizona's water experts.

Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, said that ADWR did great work in the 1980s and 1990s under great leadership, but she said that success may have allowed current legislative leaders, to some extent, to take the department’s role for granted.

“We are not in the crisis that California is precisely because of what we were doing 20 and 30 years ago,” she said. “So we’ve kind of lost this commitment and understanding of how important it is that we do this critical water planning.”

While the department has been forced to become more efficient due to the reduction of staff, employees will be overexerted in trying to achieve goals meant for a staff double its current size. Continued funding is necessary to ensure the department carries out its duties in meeting our state’s future water needs.

READ: Experts: Funding, staffing cuts undermining state’s water agency