Groundwater report could hamper future development in the West Valley

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 9:42am

In January, Gov. Katie Hobbs had the Arizona Department of Water Resources release a study that raised concerns over West Valley groundwater supplies.

That study could have major implications for development in the West Valley.

The report showed that people in the Hassayampa sub basin have pumped water faster than it can be recharged, which means developers who plan to build there in the future will have to find another source.

But other sources of water are likely to be expensive, and some plans for development may never get off the drawing board, said Kathleen Ferris, of the Kyl Center for Water Policy.

"I do think we need a discussion, it’s way past time to have a discussion about where we grow and how we grow," Ferris said, "and not everybody’s going to have everything they want.

She says it’s possible that the Arizona Department of Water Resources could issue similar reports on other areas in the future.

Ferris said that legislators and policy makers need to take the report seriously when drawing up plans for the future.

"These are the facts. This is what we have to deal with. And we cannot look the other way," she said.

She says developers could find other sources of water for new development in the West Valley, but they are likely to be expensive.

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