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  • Writer's pictureArizona House Democrats

Sundareshan, Travers Urge Bipartisan Action to Close Arizona's Groundwater Gap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2023


PHOENIXThis week Governor Hobbs and Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke announced a study that shows the Phoenix Metropolitan Area faces a 4 percent groundwater shortfall over the next 100 years. As a result, new 100-year Assured Water Supply certificates for new residential construction projects in the Phoenix Active Management Area that rely on groundwater will be paused as policy makers work on strategies to close the gap.


Democratic Senator Priya Sundareshan and Representative Stacey Travers, who both serve on the Governor's Water Policy Council, released the following statements regarding the news.


“Although there’s a desire to reassure everyone that we have enough water for existing uses and planned growth, we must accept that our groundwater laws need changes in order to make them even stronger and close the gaps that remained from the 1980 GMA,” Sundareshan stated. “The new model shows 4.9 million acre-feet (MAF) of unmet demand over 100 years in the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA). Now is the time to prioritize our most efficient uses of water and retire inefficient uses to bring the AMA into balance. Realistically, this model does not yet account for reduced inflows from the Colorado River, which we know will be reduced in some significant way soon. As members on the Governor’s Water Policy Council, and in particular on the Assured Water Supply Committee, we will propose and evaluate ideas that will further strengthen our groundwater laws. We deserve secure and sustainable groundwater everywhere in Arizona.”


"We appreciate the Governor's forthright and transparent response to this long-term shortfall," Travers said. "Here is the bottom line: Because of excessive groundwater pumping and sustained drought caused by climate change, the demand for groundwater is expected to exceed supply, which will present a formidable challenge for continued growth in certain areas on the outskirts of the Phoenix metro area. It is imperative that we continue this administration’s vigilance to ensure Arizona's continued growth and prosperity in a thoughtful and responsible manner. Bringing focus to the issue now, releasing the facts and being honest with the state before it becomes an acute and harder-to solve crisis, is all the motivation policymakers and stakeholders should need to work together on solutions to ensure that Arizonans in all corners of the state can have peace of mind that our water future is secure.”



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