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Development Depleting Groundwater in Arizona
Ian James reports:
A set of water rules that has fueled rapid growth in Arizona’s suburbs is riddled with weaknesses, according to a new report by researchers at Arizona State University, who argue the system needs to be overhauled to protect homeowners from rising costs and to ensure sufficient water supplies for the future.
Kathy Ferris and Sarah Porter of the Kyl Center for Water Policy wrote the report, focusing on the role of Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) in enabling new development in desert lands in the state since a 1993 law enabled groundwater replenishment to trigger new development, according to James.
CAGRD has grown beyond expectations, and has "begun to struggle to obtain additional water supplies from elsewhere in the state to replenish groundwater." Homeowners have begun to bear the brunt of increasing costs associated with replenishing the groundwater.
The report makes the case that the 1993 law that governs the actions of CAGRD should be rewritten to ensure more sustainable water supply practices.