FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Senator Sine Kerr Introduces Legislation to
Safeguard Arizona's Groundwater Resources for Generations to Come
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senator Sine Kerr is introducing legislation today, for and by rural Arizonans, to provide an additional management tool to residents of groundwater basins outside of active management areas.
Representing the product of countless discussions with actual water users across the state, SB 1221 (groundwater management areas; appropriations) allows citizens to initiate, form, and manage groundwater basins, while preserving the existing foundational economy in their communities.
By forming a Basin Management Area through local petition and County Board of Supervisor action, qualified basins experiencing accelerated declines would cap new groundwater pumping, with flexibility to preserve growth and the economy, all while benefiting the aquifer.
With a heavy emphasis on voluntary conservation, a Basin Management Area initiates collaboration of all water users to improve basin health. If communities in a Basin Management Area seek further water management, the voters in the region may upgrade the designation to an Active Basin Management Area and elect members installed under the "consent of the governed."
Unlike alternative proposals that would hand over the fate of local basins to the Executive Branch located hundreds of miles away, and under appointments all made from Phoenix, the Basin Management Area and Active Basin Management Area tools are wholly controlled in their formation and governance by actual citizens of the basin.
"I know that farmers and ranchers, who are multi-generational land stewards of Arizona's resources, are all in on collaborative solutions to aquifer management that require their participation," said Senator Kerr. "Although the work is harder when water users are fairly represented at the table, I have dedicated the last several months to hearing from agricultural, municipal, industrial, and commercial voices from across the state. I believe wholeheartedly in this proposal, which is a product formed by rural Arizonans sharing the common goal of preserving their local economies and the health of groundwater basins for generations to come."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus