PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today announced a new two-track initiative through the Arizona Department of Water Resources to help ensure the certainty and vitality of Arizona’s water supply long into the future.
The initiative, which is based off of and continues the work published in the 2014 Strategic Vision for Water Supply Sustainability Report, involves two tracks. The first will be to identify and prioritize the 22 planning areas identified in the report, beginning with rural areas. The goals of this track will be to look at refining the issues that are causing supply and demand imbalances; identify strategies that are likely to be successful in each planning area; and work together with local stakeholders to create solutions that Arizona can then implement to meet future water demands.
The second track will involve a team – appointed by the governor – that will investigate the long-term augmentation strategies identified for these areas, as well as explore additional water conservation opportunities, identify infrastructure needs and, ultimately, report back with policy direction or statutory changes to take Arizona into the future. The group, led by ADWR Director Thomas Buschatzke, will consist of a wide array of experts including water providers and leaders in Arizona agriculture, mining, agribusiness, homebuilding, watershed groups and government.
“Thanks to more than a century of careful planning, sound decision-making and bold leadership from our predecessors, Arizona’s water supply, at least in the near-term, is in a better-than-expected position,” said Governor Ducey. “Of course, vulnerabilities and uncertainties remain, and we must continue to be pragmatic and proactive – just like those before us – in how we manage our water resources.
“All Arizonans have a role and responsibility to play in the future of this great state, and a strong water supply will be central to that future. With the leadership of Director Buschatzke and his team of experts at Water Resources, we’ve come up with a long-term plan to help guide our efforts.”