How Cities Are Influencing Water Policy

Published: Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 4:51pm
Updated: Friday, January 22, 2016 - 7:14am
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(Photo by Michael Mol - CC BY 2.0)
Water sprinkler.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton met in Washington, D.C., with his counterparts from Los Angeles, San Francisco and other western cities Wednesday for a Water Solutions Summit.

This follows a deal Phoenix and Tucson struck to try to ensure the future water supply for both cities. Carolyn Berndt, program director for sustainability with the National League of Cities, said municipalities have been taking more of a lead on these kinds of issues.

"Local governments are implementing sustainable and innovative water policies, particularly in the area of sustainability and to address the effects of climate change."

Berndt said that generally started within the past decade - in part out of necessity. She said ideally, that happens in concert with the state and federal governments.

"There’s no choice, really, but to put conservation policies in place, and that is coming at both levels of government. But on the other hand, it’s probably more at the local level where they’re addressing the more immediate impacts of climate change," she said.

Tom Buschatzke is director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. He spoke about the roles for the state and cities in developing and implementing these kinds of policies. He also served as Phoenix’s Water Resources Management Advisor.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with the correct spelling of Ms. Berndt's name. 1/22/2016

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