Travers and Sundareshan on Republicans quitting bi-partisan Governor's Water Policy Council
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2023
PHOENIX – Senator Priya Sundareshan and Representative Stacey Travers, who serve on the Governor's bipartisan Water Policy Council and Rural Groundwater Committee, released the following statements after Senator Sine Kerr and the Arizona Farm Bureau announced last week that they were quitting on developing long-term water solutions for rural communities.
Sen. Priya Sundareshan, D-Tucson
"I am glad that Governor Hobbs has convened a group of stakeholders to discuss how to strengthen groundwater management in our state. It's not a perfect or easy process, but it's the work we must do. I myself have submitted many ideas to the Governor's Water Policy Council for consideration as potential solutions. Not all of them have yet been heard in the Council setting, but I plan to remain engaged in the Council with other stakeholders because that is what I was elected to do. Arizonans are demanding solutions to our water insecurity and we must try our hardest to come together to find those solutions. Our Democratic caucus is committed to keep working on this important issue."
Rep. Stacey Travers, D-Phoenix
"Our rural communities are hurting. Arizonans are imploring state leaders to take action to protect and conserve our finite water resources, and to help secure our long-term water future for everyone in our rural communities. They feel that their pleas have fallen on deaf ears in the legislature for far too many years. The Governor's Water Policy Council and subcommittees have diverse representation reflecting the rich tapestry of Arizona and its history when it comes to water. And, while the committee members might not necessarily all agree on our politics, we do all agree on our genuine desire to secure Arizona's water future for generations to come. Protecting Arizona’s water resources should always be a non-partisan issue.
It is disappointing and unacceptable that a small number of our legislative colleagues and the Farm Bureau have performatively walked away from their seats on this bi-partisan committee, simply because they can't get everything they want. I am sad that disinformation is being spread to create an environment of fear and attempts are being made to minimize progress on water security for our rural communities: an issue that has been long overdue. The reality is: the groundwater management solutions we are developing are bipartisan, practical, locally tailored and rooted in common sense.
Let me be clear. I want all the residents in our rural areas - farmers, mine operators, and city-dwellers - to continue to grow and thrive. Failing to act tells rural residents that companies from Saudi Arabia, California, and Minnesota that their actions are justified and Arizona’s aquifers are open for exploitation. It tells rural residents that the person with the deepest pockets and most political influence are the priority. We need to have difficult conversations about how we are planning for the future. Sometimes you have to do hard things that you can't just walk away from.”