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Senate Republicans Pass Innovative and Collaborative Groundwater Management Plan to Ensure a Bright Future for Arizona


Thursday, February 29, 2024         

Senate Republicans Pass Innovative and Collaborative Groundwater Management Plan to Ensure a Bright Future for Arizona


PHOENIX, ARIZONA— After months of collaboration and compromise among lawmakers, farmers, ranchers, miners, power producers, landowners, municipalities, commercial entities, and industrial stakeholders, Senate Republicans are proud to announce an innovative plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Senate today.


Championed by Senate Majority Whip Sine Kerr, SB 1221 represents a responsible groundwater management tool created from countless discussions with actual water users from across Arizona and ensures a bright future for generations to come.


This legislation allows citizens to initiate, form, and mange groundwater basins, while preserving their local economies. Upon the formation of a Basin Management Area through local petition and County Board of Supervisor action, qualified basins experiencing accelerated declines would cap new groundwater pumping, while maintaining flexibility to safeguard growth of communities and local economies. SB 1221 also allows citizens to have an active role in securing their water future by including a heavy emphasis on voluntary conservation to improve basin health while benefiting the aquifer. If communities in a Basin Management Area desire further water regulation, the voters in the region may upgrade the designation to an Active Basin Management Area and elect members to a council to carry out their goals.


"From agriculture to commercial, and every industry in between, SB 1221 reflects the voices of our citizens from all across Arizona and empowers rural communities to take charge in safeguarding our most precious resource for generations to come," said Senator Kerr. "Our farmers and ranchers, who've cultivated Arizona land for decades, are some of the best stewards of water, as their livelihoods rely upon conservation. Their wisdom was critical in creating this policy. Because of a history of forward-thinking collaboration on water management demonstrated in Arizona, we use less water today than we did four decades ago, and I'm confident this tool will allow our state to continue on this trajectory. I look forward to watching this bill evolve as it continues its journey through the legislative process, and I'm urging the Governor to sign it."



For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus

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