(PHOENIX, AZ – Jan. 10, 2022) In his state of the state address today, Gov. Doug Ducey proposed making a historic $1 billion investment in water infrastructure. In response, Environmental Defense Fund released the following statement:
“We commend the governor and legislative leaders for putting Arizona’s water needs at the top of the state’s agenda. It is essential that new water funding is structured in ways that help the state to adapt to new water realities: Drought supercharged by climate change is shrinking Colorado River supplies and contributing to a groundwater crisis in several rural Arizona communities. We can’t pour enough concrete to overcome the water challenges we face, and focusing primarily on building long pipelines won’t lead to the water security we need.
“We must take a bold, comprehensive approach to secure Arizona’s water future, starting with our definitions of water infrastructure and augmentation. Instructure must include natural systems — watersheds, forests, rivers and streams, wetlands and underground aquifers — that produce and purify the water we need. In addition to desalination, augmentation must include projects that treat and reuse wastewater, replenish local groundwater, and capture and recharge stormwater to benefit communities and ecosystems. State lawmakers need to authorize rural Arizona communities to begin managing and conserving groundwater and strengthen our Active Management Areas’ programs and standards. And finally, this all-of-the-above approach to updating water management and policies requires unprecedented collaboration and the involvement of tribes and other communities who have been long overlooked in water decision-making.”
- Kevin Moran, Senior Director, Colorado River Program, Environmental Defense Fund
# # #
One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund.