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

2020 - Fifty-fourth Legislature Second Regular Session

Arizona Senate

SB 1301: Water banking; storage credits; subcontractors

In Brief: Allows the Arizona Water Banking Authority to directly distribute long-term storage credits to M&I Subcontractors

Sponsor(s): Pratt & 2 others

Last Action: Passed Senate WAG Committee 2/6

Description: For nearly three decades the Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA) has stored Colorado River water underground to supplement the water supplies of Central Arizona Project (CAP) Municipal & Industrial (M&I) subcontractors. To access the stored water in times of shortage, current statutes require that the AWBA must first transfer the LTSC to CAP for recovery. This bill would provide the AWBA with the option to distribute LTSC directly to M&I subcontractors. The concept of direct distribution is an outcome of a stakeholder effort to plan for the recovery of water supplies stored by the AWBA. This legislative change would provide flexibility and simplicity for recovery of AWBA credits and reduces the cost of recovery to end users.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73558?SessionId=122

SB 1385: Water adequacy requirements; statewide applicability

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

Sponsor(s): Mendez & 5 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate WAG Committee 1/29

Description: This bill would mandate that counties outside of the Active Management Areas (AMA) adopt an 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/73669?SessionId=122

SB 1405: Water; well metering; nonexempt wells

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

Sponsor(s): Mendez & 4 others

Last Action: SB 1405 assigned to Senate WAG Committee 1/29

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/73691?SessionId=122

SB 1465: Ecological water; watersheds; use; survey

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

Sponsor(s): Dalessandro & 3 others

Last Action: Assigned to WAG Committee 2/3

Description: This bill directs ADWR to conduct a biennial assessment of watershed health throughout Arizona and to establish by 2022 a set of recommendations for how much “ecological water” is needed to sustain ecosystems, wildlife habitat, or communities that may rely on a watershed. The bill also provides for the appropriation of water for “watershed health uses,” defined as the conservation of water within a natural watercourse that supports the health of an individual watershed. Current statutes allow for the appropriation and beneficial use of water instream for fish, wildlife, and recreation purposes but not explicitly for the benefit of the watershed or ecosystem as a whole.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73780?SessionId=122

SB 1488: 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 & 24 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate Committees 2/3

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 1488 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/73804?SessionId=122

SB 1494: Department of water resources; continuation

In Brief: Extends ADWR's sunset date to 2028.

Sponsor(s): Kerr & 5 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate WAG Committee 2/3

Description: Extends ADWR's sunset date to 2028.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73810?SessionId=122

SB 1635: Subsequent irrigation non-expansion areas; procedures

In Brief: Modifies the procedures for determination of a new Irrigation Non-Expansion Area (INA)

Sponsor(s): Otondo & 15 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate WAG Committee 2/5

Description: This measure introduces a number of modifications to the procedures for establishment of new irrigation non-expansion areas (INA). This bill would allow ADWR to consider projected rates of groundwater withdrawal as part of the determination of a new INA. The bill also clarifies which entities are eligible to petition the State to create a new INA, and would mandate that petitioners submit a groundwater model and hydrologic assessment using methodology approved by the ADWR Director. This bill mirrors the suggested statutory changes presented by ADWR in the summer of 2017 during the Governor’s Water Discussions.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73999?SessionId=122

SB 1636: Groundwater pumping; measuring; reporting

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

Sponsor(s): Steele & 11 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate WAG Committee 2/5

Description: Requires monitoring and annual reporting for nonexempt groundwater wells throughout the state. Water users who irrigate 10 or fewer acres that are not part of a larger farming operation, or water users who pump <10 acre-feet per year for non-irrigation use are exempted from this requirement.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74001?SessionId=122

SB 1637: Wells; permits; spacing rules

In Brief: Mandates water use metering and reporting for groundwater wells throughout the state

Sponsor(s): Mendez & 10 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate WAG Committee 2/5

Description: Requires that ADWR adopt rules governing the location of new and replacement wells >35 gpm statewide, within groundwater basins that the Director determines to be experiencing declining groundwater levels.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74003?SessionId=122

SB 1638: Well drilling; groundwater basins

In Brief: Establishes a well drilling moratorium in the Upper San Pedro and Verde Valley Subbasins

Sponsor(s): Dalessandro & 12 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate WAG Committee 2/5

Description: Establishes a well drilling moratorium that prevents new wells in the Upper San Pedro and Verde Valley groundwater subbasins until the conclusion of the General Stream Adjudication unless a well is a replacement well or does not pump subflow.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74004?SessionId=122

SB 1639: Adequate water supply; statewide requirements

In Brief: Mandates that a city, town, or county may only approve a subdivision plat if the development has demonstrated an adequate water supply.

Sponsor(s): Otondo & 11 others

Last Action: Assigned to Senate WAG Committee 2/5

Description: Mandates that a city, town, or county may only approve a subdivision plat if the development has demonstrated an adequate water supply.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74008?SessionId=122

Arizona House

HB 2076: Appropriation; DWR; additional staff

In Brief: Appropriates $6.1 million for the Arizona Department of Water Resources to hire additional staff.

Sponsor(s): Gabaldón

Last Action: Prefiled

Description: This bill would appropriate $6.1 million to the Arizona Department of Water Resources for the purpose of hiring hydrologists, modelers, and other support staff.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72604

HB 2098: Dam safety study committee

In Brief: Establishes a Dam Safety Study Committee.

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Assigned to House NREW Committee

Description: This bill would create a Dam Safety Study Committee consisting of two appointed legislators and the Director of ADWR or their nominee. The Committee would be required to consider the safety of dams throughout Arizona complete a report of their findings by December 31st, 2020.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72650

HB 2101: Appropriation; Arizona water protection fund

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

Sponsor(s): Griffin & Nutt

Last Action: Passed Approps. Committee 1/30

Description: This bill would appropriate $1,000,000 from the state general fund in fiscal year 2020-21 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/72654

HB 2158: Water; well metering; nonexempt wells

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

Sponsor(s): Engel and seven others

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

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/72771

HB 2159: Water adequacy requirements; statewide applicability

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

Sponsor(s): Engel

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: This bill would mandate that counties outside of the Active Management Areas (AMA) adopt an 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/72772

HB 2174: 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: Awaiting committee assignment

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/72797

HB 2212: Appropriation; DEQ; testing; remediation

In Brief: Appropriates $500,000 to ADEQ for PFAS testing.

Sponsor(s): Gabaldón

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: Appropriates $500,000 for ADEQ to test public water systems for PFAS and assist systems that exceed the health advisory level determined by the U.S. EPA.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72836?SessionId=122

HB 2213: WQARF; appropriation

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

Sponsor(s): Gabaldón

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: Appropriates $20 million from the general fund in FY2020-21 to the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund. WQARF is a state-sponsored program established by the Legislature and administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to clean up hazardous soil and groundwater contamination.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72837?SessionId=122

HB 2226: Water measuring devices; report

In Brief: Authorizes the ADWR to require water measuring and reporting for groundwater pumping in areas outside of the AMAs.

Sponsor(s): Kavanagh

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: Authorizes the ADWR Director to require water measuring and reporting for groundwater pumping in areas outside of the AMAs. This requirement may only be applied to wells with a maximum pump capacity greater than 35 gpm.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72872?SessionId=122

HB 2286: Appropriation; wastewater treatment infrastructure

In Brief: Appropriates $5 million for the construction of infrastructure to treat wastewater from Luke Air Force Base.

Sponsor(s): Osborne & 3 others

Last Action: Assigned to House NREW and Approps. Committees 1/22

Description: Luke Air Force Base’s (AFB) wastewater treatment plant was originally constructed in 1942 and is approaching the end of its useful life. The City of Glendale has agreed to receive and treat wastewater from Luke AFB using the City’s infrastructure. This bill would appropriate $5 million from the general fund in FY2020-21 to defray costs associated with the construction of water reclamation infrastructure related to this project.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72928?SessionId=122

HB 2309: Groundwater; waterlogged area exemption; date

In Brief: Extends exemptions associated with the Buckeye Waterlogged Area (BWLA) through 2034.

Sponsor(s): Dunn

Last Action: Passed House Rules Committee 2/3/20

Description: The Buckeye Waterlogged Area (BWLA) was established by the Legislature in 1988, covering an area surrounding the Gila River from confluence with the Salt River west to Gillespie Dam, which includes part of Avondale and Goodyear. Within the BWLA, farmlands are exempt from water duties, certain irrigation districts are exempt from conservation requirements, and entities pumping groundwater are not required to pay withdrawal fees. Statute requires that ADWR review the area’s hydrologic conditions and make a recommendation to the Governor and Legislature on whether or not the exemptions should continue. ADWR published its findings in December 2019 and recommended that the BWLA continue through 2034. This bill would extend the BWLA exemptions through 2034, as recommended by ADWR.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/72949?SessionId=122

HB 2405: Colorado River fourth priority water

In Brief: Prohibits transfers of P4 Colorado River water from Colorado River Communities

Sponsor(s): Cobb & Biasiucci

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: This bill would add statutory language prohibiting the transfer of any Priority 4 (P4) Colorado River water to non-“Colorado river communities.” Similar legislation was introduced in 2019 prohibiting transfers of P4 water out of Mohave and La Paz Counties. ADWR is currently reviewing an application to transfer P4 water from La Paz County to Queen Creek and is expected to make its recommendation to the Bureau of Reclamation in the coming months.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73067?SessionId=122

HB 2447: Gaming compacts; water claims; prohibition

In Brief: Would prohibit Tribes involved in ongoing water rights litigation from executing gaming contracts with the State of Arizona.

Sponsor(s): Rep. Pierce, Bowers, Griffin, Dunn, Finchem; Sen. Fann, Allen

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: This bill would prohibit the State of Arizona from negotiating or executing any Tribal-State gaming compacts with tribes who are involved in water rights litigation. Many if not all tribal nations are involved in the General Stream Adjudications. Negotiation of tribal gaming contracts has been underway for the past few years, as many are set to expire in 2023.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73111?SessionId=122

HB 2456: Environmental quality programs; terminations; repeal

In Brief: Removes statutory termination dates for multiple ADEQ programs.

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Passed House Rules Committee 2/3

Description: This bill proposes to remove the statutory termination dates for multiple programs administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Current statutes include sunset dates for these individual programs, separate from ADEQ’s sunset review as an entire agency. Removing the termination dates for these programs would align their sunset reviews with the ADEQ sunset review.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73143?SessionId=122

HB 2567: Appropriation; lead screening; charter schools

In Brief: Appropriates $100,000 for ADEQ to conduct water quality testing for lead in charter schools.

Sponsor(s): Engel & 7 others

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: Appropriates $100,000 for ADEQ to conduct water quality testing for lead in charter schools. ADEQ conducted a voluntary, statewide lead screening program in 2017 but did not include charter schools.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73268?SessionId=122

HB 2618: Department of water resources; continuation

In Brief: Extends ADWR's sunset date to 2028.

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Passed House NREW Committee 2/4

Description: Extends ADWR's sunset date to 2028.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73317?SessionId=122

HB 2620: Law clinic; stream adjudications; appropriation

In Brief: Provides $500,000 for local universities to assist claimants in the General Stream Adjudication

Sponsor(s): Bowers

Last Action: Passed House NREW Committee 2/11

Description: Originally requiring the Ombudsman-Citizens’ Aide assist claimants in the General Stream Adjudication, this strike-everything amendment narrows the bill’s scope to allow local Arizona universities to represent claimants in the Adjudication with fewer legal resources available to them. Appropriates $500,000 to the University of Arizona to establish a law clinic for this purpose.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73320?SessionId=122

HB 2671: Water supply development fund; appropriation

In Brief: Appropriates $50 million to the Water Supply Development Revolving Fund. Excludes water providers within AMAs from funding eligibility.

Sponsor(s): Griffin & Bowers

Last Action: Held in committee 1/28

Description: Appropriates $50,000,000 to the state Water Supply Development Revolving fund. This fund was established in 2007 and was intended to assist rural water providers acquire water supplies through loans and grants. Currently statutory criteria exist that limit the disbursements from the fund to only water providers that are located within an AMA, or a jurisdiction that has voluntarily adopted adequate water supply provisions. The strike everything amendment removes those statutory criteria and proposes to exclude access to these funds for any water provider located within an AMA.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73374?SessionId=122

HB 2672: Water rights

In Brief: Codifies Futile Call doctrine

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Passed NREW Committee 2/4

Description: This bill modifies statute to prevent an entity with a senior water right from stopping a junior right holder from using water, unless curtailment of the junior user would produce water for the senior right holder. On February 3rd, 2020 an amendment was proposed by the bill Sponsor clarifying that to prevent curtailment, the burden of proof lies with the junior water right holder.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73375?SessionId=122

HB 2674: Water; substitute acreage

In Brief: Allows an irrigator to retire irrigated acres and apply that water right to new, "substitute lands."

Sponsor(s): Griffin, Bowers, Dunn, Nutt

Last Action: Passed House NREW Committee 2/4

Description: Adds statutory provisions that would allow an irrigator to retire irrigated acres and apply that water right to new, “substitute” lands. The substitute lands must be contiguous to the retired acres and part of the same farming unit. The irrigator must notify ADWR that the retired acres were damaged by floodwaters or, report that a “condition” (including soil quality or the shape of the farmland) exists that is limiting the efficient irrigation of those original acres and that the substitution of new land will facilitate more efficient water use.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73351?SessionId=122

HB 2675: Water conservation notice; no abandonment

In Brief: Protects a water right holder from forfeiture through nonuse if they file a "Water Conservation Plan" with ADWR.

Sponsor(s): Griffin, Bowers, Dunn, Nutt

Last Action: Passed House NREW Committee 2/4

Description: Allows a water right holder to file a “Water Conservation Plan” with ADWR. Upon filing a plan that outlines water conservation measures that are planned or will be implemented, the water rights included in that notice would be shielded from a claim of abandonment or forfeiture. The Plan can be extended by 10-years, indefinitely. An amendment to bill on 2/4/20 included a legislative intent clause specifying that the Legislature intends the provisions to only apply prospectively.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73354?SessionId=122

HB 2677: Groundwater replenishment reserves

In Brief: Modifies the statutory calculation for the CAGRD's Replenishment Reserves

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Passed NREW Committee 2/4

Description: This bill introduces clarifications to the calculation of CAGRD’s 100-year replenishment obligation for the purpose of calculating the replenishment reserve target. Existing statute could be read to require the CAGRD to calculate the replenishment reserve based on each AMA’s buildout obligation multiplied by 100. Modifies the statutory calculation of each AMA’s projected replenishment obligation to equal the cumulative projected obligation for each year following submission of the Plan of Operation.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73356?SessionId=122

HB 2737: Water efficient plumbing fixtures

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

Sponsor(s): Engel, Campbell, Payne, Otondo, Pratt

Last Action: Assigned to House Committees 2/4

Description: Arizona adopted water-efficiency standards for indoor plumbing fixtures in 1992 which have since been superseded by various federal laws and requirements. This bill would update Arizona’s water-efficiency standards to align with criteria established by the WaterSense Program, a public-private partnership between industry, utilities, and regulators.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73747?SessionId=122

HB 2738: Irrigation non-expansion areas; water supplies

In Brief: Modifies the procedures for determination of a new Irrigation Non-Expansion Area (INA)

Sponsor(s): Engel, Cobb, Otondo

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: An irrigation non-expansion area (INA) is a geographical area that has been designated as having insufficient groundwater for irrigation of cultivated lands. Within an INA expansion of new irrigated acreage is generally prohibited and water management regulations, such as well metering, apply. Arizona’s Groundwater Code allows the Director of ADWR to designate new INA’s based upon certain criteria, including if the Director determines that “there is insufficient groundwater . . . at the current rates of withdrawal.” (Emphasis added). In 2015, a petition from irrigators in the San Simon Valley to establish a new INA was declined by ADWR; the Director noting in his decision that he could not consider future groundwater uses in the determination. These bills would require the Director to consider projected rates of groundwater withdrawals in their determination of a new INA.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73748?SessionId=122

HB 2758: Watershed health; use; survey

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

Sponsor(s): Engel, Campbell, Cobb, Gabaldón, Rodriguez

Last Action: Assigned to NREW Committee 2/4

Description: This bill directs ADWR to conduct a biennial assessment of watershed health throughout Arizona and to establish by 2022 a set of recommendations for how much “ecological water” is needed to sustain ecosystems, wildlife habitat, or communities that may rely on a watershed. The bill also provides for the appropriation of water for “watershed health uses,” defined as the conservation of water within a natural watercourse that supports the health of an individual watershed. Current statutes allow for the appropriation and beneficial use of water instream for fish, wildlife, and recreation purposes but not explicitly for the benefit of the watershed or ecosystem as a whole.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73826?SessionId=122

HB 2770: Water rights; general adjudications; funding

In Brief: Establishes a fund for the purpose of providing resources to both ADWR and the Superior Court for the General Stream Adjudication

Sponsor(s): Campbell & 20 others

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: Establishes the General Adjudication Personnel and Support Fund. Monies in the Fund can be used to provide additional full-time staff, equipment, or services for the Adjudication proceedings for both the Court and ADWR. Prior to any monies being allocated from the Fund, ADWR or the Supreme Court must prepare an expenditure plan for review by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. The following sums are appropriated in FY2021: $147,610 for two full-time paralegals for the Special Water Master, $109,710 to expand the court’s electronic case management system and $2 million for the general purposes of the Fund.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/73899?SessionId=122

HB 2787: Water; augmentation authority; special districts

In Brief: Adds statutory authorities for county water augmentation authorities and county improvement districts for water supply acquisition

Sponsor(s): Shope

Last Action: Awaiting committee assignment

Description: This measure has been introduced on behalf of the Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority (CWAA). The bill would create a statutory framework for a CWAA to levy an assessment (similar to an ad valorem property tax) on property for the purposes of financing water supply development projects that will ultimately allow that property to be eligible for a Certificate of Assured Water Supply. HB 2787 also adds to the existing statutory authorities of County Improvement Districts the ability to acquire water supplies and develop infrastructure for water conveyance, reuse, or replenishment. Finally, this bill would require ADWR to transfer a minimum of $200,000 per year of groundwater withdrawal fee monies to the Pinal CWAA. Currently, statute specifies that ADWR may transfer up to $200,000 by annual determination.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74070?SessionId=122

HB 2818: Adjudication; subflow wells; claim; priority

In Brief: Allows well users within a subflow zone to apply for a water right with a retroactively assigned priority date.

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Assigned to House NREW Committee 2/11

Description: The General Stream Adjudications affect any entity who uses surface water within the Little Colorado or Gila River watersheds. This includes water users who are pumping groundwater that is hydrologically connected to a river or stream, known as subflow. Many small well owners throughout the State have installed groundwater wells near surface waters and may be unknowingly pumping subflow. This bill would allow a well owner (of any size) determined to be in a subflow zone to apply to the Court to receive a water right with a priority retroactively assigned to the date that water was first withdrawn from the well. Similar proposals in the late 1990s resulted in years of litigation and were ultimately deemed unconstitutional on the basis that retroactive legislation which impacted property rights violates the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74106?SessionId=122

HB 2880: Assured water supply; availability; plats

In Brief: Modifies assured water supply statutes for Designated Water Providers and material plat changes.

Sponsor(s): Roberts, Finchem, Shope

Last Action: Assigned to NREW Committee 2/12

Description: This measure has been introduced on behalf of the Pinal AMA Stakeholder Group; entities working to address groundwater physical availability issues in the Pinal AMA. HB 2880 would amend statute to allow a water provider in the Pinal AMA retain the volume of groundwater approved in their most recent Designation of Assured Water Supply (AWS) without any future hydrologic review. Currently, Designated water providers in all AMAs must re-demonstrate physical availability of groundwater when renewing their Designations. The bill also changes the AWS statutes to allow developers to increase the number of housing units on a subdivision plat associated with existing Certificates of AWS. Current regulations require developers to apply for a new Certificate if a plat is revised and housing units are increased by 10% or more. AMWUA staff are working with the bill sponsors and ADWR to seek clarification on provisions within the bill.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74175?SessionId=122

HB 2896: Water; rural management areas

In Brief: Allows a County Board of Supervisors to establish a Rural Management Area and prescribe water management practices.

Sponsor(s): Cobb & 7 others

Last Action: Assigned to NREW Committee 2/12

Description: This bill would allow a County Board of Supervisors to establish a new type of water management jurisdiction called a Rural Management Area if a particular groundwater basin or subbasin meet certain criteria, generally related to groundwater depletion. Rural Management Areas may develop a Management Goal, Management Plan, and voluntary or mandatory best management practices designed to reduce groundwater withdrawals in the area. The proposed Management Plan must be submitted for approval by ADWR.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74191?SessionId=122

HB 2895: Subsequent irrigation non-expansion areas; procedures

In Brief: Modifies the procedures for determination of a new Irrigation Non-Expansion Area (INA)

Sponsor(s): Cobb

Last Action: Assigned to House NREW Committee 2/12

Description: This measure introduces a number of modifications to the procedures for establishment of new irrigation non-expansion areas (INA). This bill would allow ADWR to consider projected rates of groundwater withdrawal as part of the determination of a new INA. The bill also clarifies which entities are eligible to petition the State to create a new INA, and would mandate that petitioners submit a groundwater model and hydrologic assessment using methodology approved by the ADWR Director. This bill mirrors the suggested statutory changes presented by ADWR in the summer of 2017 during the Governor’s Water Discussions.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74190?SessionId=122

HR 2003: Arizona water professionals; appreciation week

In Brief: Designates April 12-18, 2020 as Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week.

Sponsor(s): Gabaldón

Last Action:

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/72838?SessionId=122

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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.