Where We Stand Hero

AMWUA vigorously protects our members’ ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies and advocates for Arizona’s continued water security.

Where We Stand On The Issues

Smart water policy and careful planning, investment, and management have enabled AMWUA’s members to build robust, reliable water supplies that support our communities and economy. It is imperative that we continue to address the issues in front of us to ensure the future viability of those supplies. Learn more about some of the issues we are working on:

Where We Stand on Legislation

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session

Arizona Senate

SJR 1001: Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Joint Resolution

In Brief: Authorization from the Arizona Legislature for the Director of ADWR to enter into the interstate Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan

Sponsor(s): Fann, Kerr, Otondo

Last Action: Signed into law by the Governor 1/31/19

Description: The House and Senate Joint Resolutions authorize the Director of ADWR to enter into the interstate Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) agreements, if: federal legislation is enacted directing the Secretary of the Interior to execute the DCP agreements, and if all other parties to the DCP have authorized the execution of the agreements.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71777

SB 1227: Drought Contingency Plan Omnibus

In Brief: The DCP Omnibus bills contain statutory amendments and appropriations for the implementation of the LBDCP in Arizona.

Sponsor(s): Fann, Kerr, Otondo

Last Action: Signed into law by the Governor 1/31/19

Description: The DCP Omnibus Bill contains various statutory amendments and legislative actions that were identified in the DCP negotiation process as material for the successful implementation of DCP within Arizona. The Omnibus Bill includes the following elements, which were also introduced as individual bills in the House: 1. Creation of an Arizona System Conservation Fund administered by ADWR for the purpose of spending monies from various parties on Colorado River system conservation. This component contains an appropriation of $30 million which is intended to purchase 150,000 acre-feet (AF) of system conservation from the Colorado River Indian Tribes. 2. Creation of a temporary fund to finance groundwater withdrawal infrastructure projects in Pinal County and the Harquahala INA, as well as authorization for redistribution of Pinal County Groundwater Withdrawal Fees normally collected for use by the Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA). As amended, SB 1227 contains an appropriation of $9 million for the fund. 3. Elimination of the 2025 sunset for effluent storage sunset, and amendments to the Groundwater Code allowing for 95% long-term storage credit accrual for effluent storage at an existing effluent managed underground storage facilitiy (USF). 4. Alterations to the Groundwater Code for entities who do not currently qualify to earn Long-Term Storage Credits under the WaterBUD provision. As amended, water stored at a Groundwater Savings Facility (GSF) in Pinal County to support DCP may now qualify for credit accrual, up to 15,000 AF per year. 5. Session Law authorizing the AWBA to transfer LTSCs between Active Management Areas (AMA). This provision enables USF to GSF storage arrangements between the Phoenix, Tucson, and Pinal AMAs negotiated in the DCP stakeholder process.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71807

SB 1198: Water infrastructure finance authority; appropriation

In Brief: Appropriates $30 million from the general fund to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA).

Sponsor(s): Mendez and six others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill appropriates $30 million from the state general fund to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA). WIFA is a state agency that provides low-interest loans to water providers. It is assumed that the intent is to provide funds for the Water Supply Development Revolving Fund.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71770

SB 1221: Irrigation grandfathered right; containerized plants

In Brief: Allows the use of irrigation grandfathered rights for use on containerized plants

Sponsor(s): Kerr

Last Action: HB 2484 was substituted for SB 1221 and signed by the Governor 2/19/19

Description: These bills state that in an initial Active Management Area, a person who holds a certificate of irrigation grandfathered right may exercise that right to withdraw groundwater to water plants in containers on or above the surface. Among other things, the bills also require the right holder to separately measure any groundwater used for watering plants in containers and groundwater for irrigation; however, the total amount of water may not exceed the amount allowed by the irrigation water duty for the farm.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71800

SB 1265: Appropriation; WQARF

In Brief: Appropriates $15 million from the general fund to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF).

Sponsor(s): Peshlakai and 13 others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill appropriates $15 million from the general fund to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) in fiscal year 2019-20. WQARF is a state-sponsored program established by the Legislature and administered by the Department of Environmental Quality to clean up hazardous soil and groundwater contamination.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71876

SB 1368: Water; well metering; nonexempt wells

In Brief: Mandates water use metering and reporting for nonexempt groundwater wells

Sponsor(s): Mendez and five others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill mandates measuring and annual reporting for nonexempt groundwater wells throughout the state. Nonexempt wells include those with a pumping capacity greater than 35 gallons per minute (gpm). Current law contains no measuring requirements for wells outside of the Active Management Areas (AMAs) or Irrigation Non-Expansion Areas (INAs) except for a person who withdraws groundwater for transportation to an initial AMA.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72005

SB 1369: Water adequacy requirements; statewide applicability

In Brief: Establishes requirement for counties to establish mandatory adequacy provisions for subdivision development approval.

Sponsor(s): Mendez and five others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill would mandate that counties outside of the Active Management Areas (AMA) adopt a adequate water requirement for subdivided lands within the county. Currently counties outside of an AMA have an option to adopt the mandatory adequacy provisions upon unanimous vote of the county Board of Supervisors.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72006

SB 1370: Freshwater ecosystems; ecological water; survey

In Brief: Establishes statutory classification for ecological water, directs ADWR to survey the condition of Arizona watersheds.

Sponsor(s): Dalessandro and 11 others

Last Action: Assigned to committee 2/4/19

Description: This bill adds a statutory definition and provides for the appropriation of “ecological water.” Current statutes allow for the appropriation and beneficial use of water for fish and wildlife purposes, but not explicitly for the benefit of the watershed or ecosystem as a whole. SB 1370 would also require the Director of ADWR to perform a one-time survey of Arizona’s watersheds, identifying any ecological water needs, and recommending any necessary environmental or policy improvements.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72007

SB 1440: Appropriation; employees; water resources - Striker

In Brief: Appropriates $740,000 for the Department of Water Resources to hire new staff.

Sponsor(s): Pratt

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill declares the Legislature’s intent to appropriate $740,000 to ADWR for the purpose of hiring hydrologists, geographic information system professionals, and other support staff. ADWR has stated that it faces challenges in competing with California for the hiring of technical hydrologic staff.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72094

SB 1450: Invasive vegetation eradication; grants

In Brief: Appropriates $15 million for the removal of invasive vegetation for the purposes of fire and flood prevention and conservation of water and habitat.

Sponsor(s): Kerr and five others

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill would appropriate $15 million from the general fund for the Game and Fish Commission to provide grants to municipalities, counties, tribes and political subdivisions of the state for projects to eradicate invasive vegetation. The projects must assist in fire and flood prevention and conservation of water and wildlife habitat.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72109

SB 1477: Appropriation; best land management practices

In Brief: Directs the State Forester to establish a best land management practice program for wildfire prevention. Appropriates $4 million.

Sponsor(s): Otondo and 16 others

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill directs the State Land Commissioner and State Forester to establish a program promoting best land management practices for the removal of hazardous vegetation on state land for the purposes of fire suppression and watershed management. SB 1477 outlines the program requirements to specifically include a plan for removal of hazardous vegetation from federal and tribal lands for the purposes of protecting infrastructure and municipal water supplies. The bill would appropriate $4 million from the general fund for the program.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72158

SB 1478: Municipalities; counties; wildfire hazard removal

In Brief: Requires cities or towns containing Wildland-Urban Interfaces to adopt ordinances requiring property owners to remove wildfire hazards.

Sponsor(s): Otondo and 13 others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: The Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) is a federal land classification for areas where communities are located in and around forests. SB 1478 would require that cities or towns that contain a WUI must adopt an ordinance requiring private property within the WUI to remove any vegetation, natural fuels, or trash which constitute a wildfire hazard. This bill appropriates $1 million for cities or towns to use in matching programs for the wildfire fuel removal.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72159

SB 1544: Water conservation; landscaping; rent; notice

In Brief: Forbids property owners and HOAs from prohibiting water conservation devices or practices.

Sponsor(s): Mendez and three others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill would forbid the owner of a property or Homeowners Association from prohibiting the use of a water saving device or water conservation practice as part of a property contract or rental agreement.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72218

Arizona House

HB 2009: Navigable stream adjudication commission; extension

In Brief: Extends legislative authorization for the Arizona Navigable Stream Adjudication Commission

Sponsor(s): Griffin and 12 others

Last Action: Signed by Governor March 22nd, 2019

Description: This bill extends the legislative authorization for the Arizona Navigable Stream Adjudication Commission (ANSAC) for four years to June 30th, 2024. The ANSAC is charged with determining which of Arizona’s rivers and streams were navigable at time of Statehood. If determined to be navigable at time of Statehood, the land beneath the watercourse is subject to ownership by the State to be held in public trust., If non-navigable, the watercourse is subject to ownership by the person whose property it crosses. The commission was previously scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2020.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71015

HB 2013: Appropriation; Arizona water protection fund

In Brief: Appropriates $1 million from the general fund to the Arizona Water Protection Fund.

Sponsor(s): Griffin & Townsend

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill would appropriate $1,000,000 from the state general fund in fiscal year 2019-20 to the Arizona Water Protection Fund. The Arizona Water Protection Fund is a state-run program administered by ADWR that funds projects to protect and enhance water quality and quantity in Arizona's rivers, streams, and riparian areas. Some of these efforts include revegetation, erosion control, channel stabilization, research, and water conservation.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71019

HB 2098: Delinquent property taxes; payment plans - Striker

In Brief: Appropriates $20 million for agricultural irrigation districts to develop groundwater withdrawal infrastructure.

Sponsor(s): Cook

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill would appropriate $20 million from the state general fund for the development of groundwater infrastructure projects, primarily in Pinal County.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71176?SessionId=121

HB 2110: Arizona biofuels conversion program; repeal - Striker

In Brief: Updates to Arizona's plumbing code to require water efficient fixtures.

Sponsor(s): Engel and six others

Last Action: Failed in committee 2/19/19

Description: This bill, originally introduced as HB 2394, updates Arizona’s water efficiency standards for indoor water fixtures, starting in 2020. Arizona’s efficiency requirements for plumbing fixtures have not been updated since they were last aligned with federal standards in 1992. HB 2394 would bring these efficiency standards into alignment with the voluntary Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense standards, a national water efficiency certification program. AMWUA did testify in support of this bill; however, the House Natural Resources Energy & Water Committee rejected it along party lines.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71192?SessionId=121

HB 2111: Carbon dioxide emissions committee; repeal - Striker

In Brief: Allows county board of supervisors for a county outside an AMA to not readopt the 100-year adequate water supply water requirement

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This striker would allow a county that is not in an AMA, through a unanimous vote of its county board of supervisors, to vote not to readopt the mandatory 100-year adequate water supply requirement. Upon rescinding the provision, the county would not be able to readopt the adequacy requirements for five years. The original bill was modified in committee with a strike everything amendment on February 19, 2019.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71193

HB 2124: Appropriations; courts; water master - Striker

In Brief: Appropriates $289,500 for support to the administration of the General Stream Adjudication

Sponsor(s): Udall and four others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This striker announces the Legislature’s intent to appropriate $289,500 to the Administrative Office of the Courts as aid to the Special Water Master who oversees the General Stream Adjudication. The monies are allocated to electronic improvements to the case management system as well as for funding of administrative support personnel.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71218?SessionId=121

HB 2143: Water, west basin advisory councils

In Brief: Establishes West Basin Water Users Advisory Councils for Mohave and La Paz counties

Sponsor(s): Cobb & Biasiucci

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill provides for the establishment of a Mohave County West Basin and a La Paz County West Basin Water Users Advisory Council, each made up of 10 appointed members. The Councils are tasked with reviewing groundwater withdrawal data and recommending programs and policies to ADWR for the regional groundwater basins. The Councils are required to submit a report of their respective findings to ADWR, the Governor and the Legislature by December 31, 2022. The Councils terminate on July 1, 2027.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71235

HB 2225: Exempt wells; capacity

In Brief: Redefines the maximum pumping capacity for groundwater withdrawal wells exempt from the Groundwater Code.

Sponsor(s): Blanc, Chavez, Peten

Last Action: Held in House

Description: The Groundwater Code defines exempt wells as those with a maximum pumping capacity of less than 35 gallons-per-minute (gpm) used to withdraw groundwater for non-irrigation uses. These wells are exempt from most of the provisions of the Groundwater Code. This bill alters that criterion, changing the threshold for exemption to a maximum capacity of 20 gpm of pumping capacity.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71326

HB 2396: Water; well metering; nonexempt wells

In Brief: Mandates water use metering and reporting for nonexempt groundwater wells

Sponsor(s): Engel and nine others

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill mandates measuring and annual reporting for nonexempt groundwater wells throughout the state. Nonexempt wells include those with a pumping capacity greater than 35 gallons-per-minute. Current law contains no measuring requirements for wells outside of the AMAs or INA except for a person who withdraws groundwater for transportation to an initial AMA.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71536

HB 2397: Water adequacy requirements; statewide applicability

In Brief: Establishes requirement for counties to establish mandatory adequacy provisions for subdivision development approval.

Sponsor(s): Engel

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill would mandate that counties outside of the Active Management Areas (AMA) adopt a adequate water requirement for subdivided lands within the county. Currently counties outside of an AMA have an option to adopt the mandatory adequacy provisions upon unanimous vote of the county Board of Supervisors.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71537

HB 2428: No-water urinals required; public buildings

In Brief: Establishes requirement for counties and municipalities to require water-free urinals in public buildings.

Sponsor(s): Thorpe

Last Action: Held in House

Description: As amended, this bill establishes that counties and municipalities must require the installation of water-free or ultra-low water use (≤0.5 gallon) urinals in all new construction or remodeling of existing public buildings where costs exceed $10,000. The bill also mandates that within two years after the effective date of the legislation, all flushable urinals located in state buildings shall be replaced with the alternative fixtures. Representative Thorpe has expressed that his intention is to execute a pilot test of the low water use fixtures in the House and Senate buildings, however, as written the bill would still require municipalities and counties to replace existing restroom fixtures upon initiating any new construction or renovation of existing buildings where costs exceed $10,000. AMWUA staff are seeking clarification and amendments to HB 2428 so that AMWUA can support this bill.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71562

HB 2434: Colorado River Transfers; limitation

In Brief: Prohibits transfers of P4 Colorado River water from Mohave County to counties that do not border the Colorado River

Sponsor(s): Cobb

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill would add statutory language prohibiting the transfer of any Priority 4 Colorado River water from Mohave County irrigation and water conservation districts to any other county that does not border the Colorado River. Transfers from Mohave County to La Paz or Yuma Counties would not be prohibited.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71569

HB 2449: Adequate water supply; county review

In Brief: Allows county board of supervisors for a county outside an AMA to not readopt the 100-year adequate water supply water requirement

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Held in the House.

Description: This bill would allow a county that is not in an AMA, through a unanimous vote of its county board of supervisors, to vote not to readopt the mandatory 100-year adequate water supply water requirement if certain conditions are met. The conditions, which must be met by the county or largest city in the county, include participation in the following: groundwater recharge, reclaimed water reuse, water conservation programs, and use of low water use plants in certain publicly owned areas. This bill reflects proposals that were put forth in the 2016 and 2018 legislative sessions and opposed by AMWUA.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71589

HB 2464: Water infrastructure finance; municipal approval

In Brief: Removes voter authorization requirement of WIFA loan eligibility for cities and towns with populations ≤150,000 residents.

Sponsor(s): Shope

Last Action: Signed by Governor 3/22/19

Description: The Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) is an Arizona state agency that provides low interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvement. Under current law, any city or town with a population of more than 50,000 must request voter authorization in order to accept a WIFA loan. HB 2464 raises this threshold, applying the requirement to cities or towns with populations greater than 150,000. This effectively lowers the burden of WIFA loan eligibility for municipalities with ≤150,000 residents.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71598

HB 2467: Committees; west basin water users

In Brief: Establishes a West Basin Water Users Committee to review groundwater withdrawal data in Mohave and La Paz counties

Sponsor(s): Cobb

Last Action: Passed Senate COW 5/1/19

Description: This bill provides for the establishment of a West Basin Water Users Committee to serve Mohave and La Paz counties. Comprised of elected officials and other water use stakeholders, the Committee is tasked with reviewing groundwater withdrawal data and recommending programs and policies to ADWR for the regional groundwater basins. The Committee is required to submit a report on its findings to ADWR, the Governor and the Legislature by December 31, 2021. The Committee terminates on July 1, 2022.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71604

HB 2468: Colorado River transfers; emergency rulemaking

In Brief: Requires ADWR to adopt emergency rules for existing agency processes relating to Colorado River transfers.

Sponsor(s): Cobb

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: Requires the Director of ADWR to adopt an emergency rule that describes the policies and procedures of the Department when providing review and consultation of any transfers of Colorado River water rights and contracts. The emergency rule would also be required to outline the criteria the Department will use to evaluate any proposed transfers, leases, or allocations of mainstream Colorado River water. Current law (A.R.S. § 45-107(D)) already requires that any party preparing to transfer an allocation or entitlement of Colorado River water is obligated to submit the proposed contract to the Director of ADWR for review prior to its execution. ADWR presently operates under Substantive Policy Statement CR10 which governs the procedures for obtaining Departmental consultation and outlines the criteria that the Department uses to evaluate water transfers. The Director of ADWR adopted CR10 on January 16, 2019 and it revised previous substantive policy statements on this issue.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71605

HB 2475: Water use; criminal penalty; wells

In Brief: Removes the statutory provision in Arizona water law classifying the act of taking another's water via groundwater well as a Class 2 Misdemeanor.

Sponsor(s): Bowers

Last Action: Signed by Governor June 6th 2019

Description: Arizona law classifies the act of unauthorized “taking water that another is entitled to” as a Class 2 Misdemeanor. As amended, this bill exempts a person from criminal charges for taking water, including subflow of a river or stream, through a registered well if that individual does not have knowledge that the water is subflow.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71612

HB 2476: Surface water forfeiture; repeal

In Brief: Alters Arizona water law to remove statutes governing the forfeiture of water rights that are not put to beneficial use.

Sponsor(s): Bowers

Last Action: Held in committee 2/19

Description: Under Arizona law, the owner of a water right that fails to put the water appropriated to beneficial use for five consecutive years forfeits that right. HB 2476 would remove this statutory provision, which could have a wide impact on nearly every water right in the state, and the proceedings of the General Stream Adjudication. This change conflicts with a prior Arizona Supreme Court ruling that found a previous attempt to retroactively modify the forfeiture of water rights through legislative changes to be unconstitutional. The bill also removes statutory clauses that specifically protect certain types of beneficial use for surface waters of the state, including underground storage and the exchange of effluent or Central Arizona Project water for surface water. While removal of these beneficial use protections may be congruent with removing all grounds for water right forfeiture, AMWUA staff are cautious of any legislation that would eliminate safeguards on underground storage or water exchanges as beneficial uses.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71613

HB 2477: Adjudication statutes; unconstitutional provisions; repeal

In Brief: Removes legislative provisions related to the General Stream Adjudication that were determined by the Arizona Supreme Court to be unconstitutional.

Sponsor(s): Bowers

Last Action: Signed by Governor 4/30/19

Description: In 1995 the Arizona State Legislature enacted multiple bills with the intent of simplifying and expediting the General Stream Adjudication. After passage, these bills were legally challenged in the Supreme Court by multiple parties. The Court ultimately found that some of the legislative provisions affecting water rights and the adjudication were unconstitutional. HB 2477 repeals the provisions of statute that were deemed unconstitutional by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1999, though have remained in State statute to the present day.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71611

HB 2484: Irrigation grandfathered right; containerized plants

In Brief: Allows the use of irrigation grandfathered rights for use on containerized plants

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: HB 2484 was substituted for SB 1221 and signed by the Governor 2/19/19

Description: These bills state that in an initial Active Management Area, a person who holds a certificate of irrigation grandfathered right may exercise that right to withdraw groundwater to water plants in containers on or above the surface. Among other things, the bills also require the right holder to separately measure any groundwater used for watering plants in containers and groundwater for irrigation; however, the total amount of water may not exceed the amount allowed by the irrigation water duty for the farm.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/71623

HB 2580: Appropriation; invasive vegetation eradication; grants

In Brief: Appropriates $15 million for the removal of invasive vegetation for the purposes of fire and flood prevention and conservation of water and habitat.

Sponsor(s): Osborne and three others

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: This bill would appropriate $15 million from the general fund for the Game and Fish Commission to provide grants to municipalities, counties, tribes and political subdivisions of the state for projects to eradicate invasive vegetation. The projects must assist in fire and flood prevention and conservation of water and wildlife habitat.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72130

HB 2586: Groundwater replenishment; water supply; credits

In Brief: Diminishes the statutory requirements for the Assured Water Supply.

Sponsor(s): Cook

Last Action: Retained on House COW Calendar 3/4/19

Description: As amended, this bill contains numerous alterations to the Groundwater Code that would significantly undermine Arizona’s assured water supply requirements and establish worrisome precedent for all AMAs. Specifically, HB 2586 includes the following substantial amendments: (1) It would require ADWR to extend an analysis of assured water supply in Pinal County an indefinite number of times even though the Department has determined there is not enough groundwater in the Pinal AMA to meet the water demands of all analyses that have been already issued. (2) Changes the statutory definition of assured water supply, removing the Department’s ability to consider existing rates of groundwater decline. (3) Adds perplexing criteria for the consideration of future groundwater replenishment from the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District which would impact the Designations of Assured Water Supply held by municipal water providers

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72220

HB 2591: Appropriation; WQARF

In Brief: Appropriates $20 million from the general fund to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF).

Sponsor(s): Gabaldon

Last Action: Failed in Appropriations Committee 2/25/19

Description: This bill appropriates $20 million from the general fund to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) in fiscal year 2019-20. WQARF is a state-sponsored program established by the Legislature and administered by the Department of Environmental Quality to clean up hazardous soil and groundwater contamination.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72225

HB 2595: Adequate water supply; designation; standards

In Brief: Modifies the criteria for analysis of the physical and legal availability of water when ADWR prepares an Adequate Water Supply determination.

Sponsor(s): Gabaldon

Last Action: Held in the House.

Description: On August 8, 2018, the Arizona Supreme Court held that ADWR is not required to consider unquantified federal reserved water rights as part of the legal or physical availability analysis in its determination of an adequate water supply. This decision addressed ongoing litigation over a large development near Sierra Vista. The Court’s opinion was predicated on its interpretation of the adequate water supply statutes, reasoning that, (1) ADWR is not required to consider the impacts of an applicant’s groundwater withdrawals on existing uses, but rather that the agency must consider existing groundwater uses on the supply of the applicant, (2) the legislature did not specify that unquantified federal reserved water rights must be considered in the determination of legally available water supplies, and that (3) a private water company’s possession of a Certificate of Convenience & Necessity is, in effect, consumer protection for the legal availability of water. HB 2595 attempts to alter adequate water supply statute to address these considerations. AMWUA staff have identified technical issues with the bill and do not anticipate its movement through the legislature.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72229

HB 2609: Harquahala non-expansion area; groundwater transfer

In Brief: Expands statutory list of entities eligible to pump groundwater in the Harquahala INA for transport to an AMA.

Sponsor(s): Peterson & Cook

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill adds a provision to statute allowing private water companies to withdraw groundwater from purchased land in the Harquahala irrigation non-expansion area (INA) and transport that water to an initial Active Management Area (AMA). Previously, only political subdivisions of the state could purchase land and transfer the groundwater to AMAs. HB 2609 also deepens the acceptable level of the water table for groundwater pumping, from 1,000 feet below ground surface to 1,500 feet.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72245

HB 2630: Freshwater ecosystems; ecological water; survey

In Brief: Establishes statutory classification for ecological water, directs ADWR to survey the condition of Arizona watersheds.

Sponsor(s): Engel and seven others

Last Action: Held in House

Description: This bill adds a statutory definition and provides for the appropriation of “ecological water.” Current statutes allow for the appropriation and beneficial use of water for fish and wildlife purposes, but not explicitly for the benefit of the watershed or ecosystem as a whole. SB 1370 would also require the Director of ADWR to perform a one-time survey of Arizona’s watersheds, identifying any ecological water needs, and recommending any necessary environmental or policy improvements.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72268

HB 2692: State drink; lemonade

In Brief: Designates lemonade as the official Arizona State drink.

Sponsor(s): Peterson

Last Action: Signed by Governor May 13, 2019

Description: Statute outlines the official state emblems, which include a state fossil, state bird, state flower, state tree, state neckwear, state gemstone, state animals, state butterfly, state nickname, state firearm, state metal, state mineral and state dinosaur (A.R.S. Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5). There is currently no state drink designated in statute.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72336?SessionId=121

HR 2002: Arizona water professionals appreciation week

In Brief: Designates April 14-20, 2019 as Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week.

Sponsor(s): Gabaldon

Last Action: Passed House April 15th 2019

Description: Designates April 14-20, 2019 as Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week to express gratitude and appreciation for the water professionals who contribute to the delivery and management of Arizona’s safe and reliable water supplies.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72296

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Water is essential for life. It supplies food, generates energy, and creates jobs. The wellbeing of our communities and economies depends on it. In a desert, we are acutely aware that we must continue to plan, invest, and develop forward-thinking policy today to ensure safe, reliable, and sustainable water supplies for the future.