Legislation Archive

Session Summaries

Bill Archive

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Water; well metering; nonexempt wells

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Water adequacy requirements; statewide applicability

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
No-water urinals required; public buildings

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Colorado River Transfers; limitation

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Adequate water supply; county review

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Water infrastructure finance; municipal approval

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Committees; west basin water users

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Colorado River transfers; emergency rulemaking

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Water use; criminal penalty; wells

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

2019 - Fifty-fourth Legislature - First Regular Session
Surface water forfeiture; repeal

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