East Arizona News

East Arizona News

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Public and private sectors come together to find solutions for Arizona's water issues


By Chris Lang | Mar 9, 2020

Az chamber meeting 1000
Lawmakers and business leaders in Arizona discuss water supply issues. | Photo Courtesy of Business for Water Stewardship

The Business for Water Stewardship along with local and national companies and lawmakers in Arizona met recently to discuss how to conserve the state’s water supply.

For nearly two decades, Arizona has dealt with drought conditions. The meeting of private and public sectors in February was an effort to find ways to protect the state’s water supply while supporting future economic development.

“We want to be in Arizona forever to invest in communities and jobs and we need to have certainty around water in the long term,” Todd Reeve, director of the Business for Water Stewardship, said in an interview on March 6. "We need a policy and we need to know what businesses need to continue to invest." 

Reeve said that the collaboration of key players from the public and private sectors is a step in the right direction to support initiatives to protect the state’s water supply, such as Lake Mead, especially if a drought happens again.

“What we’re seeing is the corporate sector is very much realizing the challenges to solve this [water problem],” Reeve said.

In 2019, Congress approved a multi-state drought plan that required water use cutbacks and conservation methods to preserve the Colorado River resources.

The measure was billed as a first step to protect water resources.

While the Business for Water Stewardship makes an effort to bring key players together to address water availability in the state, the Legislature also recognizes the severity of the situation.

According to AZ Big Media, the Legislature has proposed at least 40 bills this year related to water sustainability.

The legislations address groundwater supplies and efforts for improved management and protection, among other areas of concern.

Reeve noted that it is critical for the state to address the water supply to keep businesses investing in Arizona. He said it’s about thinking forward and also perhaps redefining what the classification of a drought means.

After 19 years of drought, is that the issue or is it climate change, he said.

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