Republic: Years of smart water policy at risk

Monday, February 22, 2016

An editorial in The Arizona Republic questions two Senate bills that could change rules that represent a commitment to long-term water security that make economic development possible.

Where developers have to demonstrate an “assured water supply” for at least 100 years, SB 1400 will change the rule to require unanimous vote every five years for a county to remain in that program. Moreover, SB 1268 says cities don’t have to follow the adequate water supply rules their counties adopt. They can ignore them.

These measures could clear the way for proposed Sierra Vista development that the federal government says would deplete the San Pedro River.

Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute, said these rules protect a developer who demonstrates an adequate water supply from having new developers sink more straws into the same supply and deplete it.

Water planning is a statewide concern. Arizona should be building on past successes, not undermining them for the sake of immediate gratification.

READ: Our View: 2 bills could drain Arizona water - to help a developer