"As Gov. Katie Hobbs assumes office, the state is facing drought, diminishing Colorado River water, surging development and unregulated groundwater use in rural areas."
"PHOENIX — A top water expert at Arizona State University began the year with a demand in a newspaper Op-Ed column directed at incoming Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs: Immediately release a state report on groundwater in Buckeye, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.
Buckeye, about 35 miles west of Phoenix, currently has a little over 100,000 residents, with communities planned that would nearly triple that population in the coming decades.
“Nearly all this development would be located on pristine desert land without a history of water use,” the water expert, Kathleen Ferris, wrote in The Arizona Republic. “And if developers get their way and are allowed to move forward, the massive new growth they’re proposing would seriously threaten the entire region’s groundwater.”
Ferris, a senior research fellow at Arizona State University’s Kyl Center for Water Policy and the former director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, which prepared the report, got her wish. Last week, Hobbs released the department’s analysis of the Lower Hassayampa sub-basin, which showed that without new sources of water, the region cannot add more development. The governor also made clear in her State of the State address that water conservation would be a top priority for her administration."
Wyatt Myskow reports for Inside Climate News January 17, 2023.