Daily News: Bill would change water supply rules

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mohave Daily News reported the House passed a proposal that would create an easement for new developments that are required to adhere to rules for 100-year water supply.

The bill by Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, would require supervisors in rural counties that have adopted adequate water supply rules to vote as early as next year and every five years thereafter to keep the rules in place.

If adopted, the legislation could help a developer begin construction of nearly 7,000 homes in Sierra Vista despite a pending lawsuit. The developer, Castle and Cooke Arizona, is owned by David H. Murdock — a billionaire real estate developer and owner of Dole Food Company.

Rick Coffman, vice president of Castle & Cooke Arizona, agreed the proposals could help the business get around county water supply rules, but that it would likely wait for the outcome of the lawsuit before beginning construction.

Even if these bills pass, the issue won’t go away, said Kathleen Ferris, a senior fellow for Arizona State University Morrison Institute’s Kyle Center for Water Policy. “It ultimately has to be resolved because the federal government has water rights to sustain the San Pedro River,” she said.

READ: House approves blocking rural water supply rules