Pinal County Farmers Continue Battle Over Drought Contingency Plan

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 12:23pm
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 1:36pm
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The hard deadline for Arizona to pass legislation approving the Drought Contingency Plan is this Jan. 31.

This is the plan that will dictate how seven states and Mexico will use water in the Lower Colorado Basin. If Arizona can’t pass a resolution, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will step in and decide water policies for the state.

While Arizona is close to an agreement, some of the last issues to be ironed out have to do with Pinal County farmers — they must wean their lands from Colorado River water and draw instead from new groundwater wells — and there are questions about costs to do that, as well as sustainability.

In the House Natural Resources, Energy and Water committee building on Wednesday, voices for and against the plan testified in a packed room.

One of those voices was Chelsea McGuire, director of government relations for the Arizona Farm Bureau, and she joined The Show to share her thoughts.

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