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Legislation Would Prevent Rural-to-Urban Water Transfers in Arizona

A plan to sell water intended for agricultural uses to help fuel the development of a city on the edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area has inspired new state legislation.
January 29, 2020, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Arizona Agriculture
Jim Parkin

"A company’s proposal to take water from farmland along the Colorado River and sell it to a growing Phoenix suburb has provoked a heated debate, and some Arizona legislators are trying to block the deal with a bill that would prohibit the transfer," reports Ian James.

"The legislation introduced by Rep. Regina Cobb would bar landowners who hold 'fourth-priority' water entitlements from transferring Colorado River water away from communities near the river," explains James.

The bill, HB 2405, is intended to protect the interests of rural agricultural communities. Cobb represents La Paz County, which includes the small farming community of Cibola, "where the company GSC Farm LLC has proposed to stop irrigating its farmland and sell the water to Queen Creek," according to James. More details on the Queen Creek deal are included in the article. Queen Creek, with a population of about 26,000 in 2010, is one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona.

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Published on Monday, January 27, 2020 in Arizona Republic
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