In a letter sent to the Arizona Legislature, more than fifty businesses and organizations urged the Arizona Legislature to swiftly pass a joint resolution and companion legislation to implement a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). Arizona lawmakers are quickly approaching the January 31st deadline that will trigger federal action.
“Allowing the federal government to prescribe DCP is not what is best for our state, our economy, and our water security – it takes control from Arizonans, and lays the groundwork for litigation leading to uncertainty and potential long-term harm,” the letter reads.
Lawmakers are currently considering the details of a state implementation plan that was negotiated by a statewide steering committee spearheaded by Governor Doug Ducey.
Five states and Mexico have completed their pieces of the agreement, which lays out measures for shoring up levels at Lake Mead and reductions to water supplies. Arizona and California are firming up the last details; Arizona is the only state that requires legislative approval.
The coalition letter, authored by diverse businesses and organizations such as American Airlines, Raytheon, Valley Partnership and the Lake Havasu Chamber of Commerce, provided guiding principles “in order to protect and sustain Arizona’s maximum Colorado River water supply.” These include:
- Promote a vibrant and growing economy, while maintaining good stewardship of our water, including vigilant defense of Arizona’s rights in the Colorado River;
- Promote water conservation and similar efforts that will protect the water elevation of Lake Mead;
- Support local jurisdictions and industry in their reasonable and cost-effective efforts to address critical infrastructure needs in response to pending shortages on the Colorado River and allow for continued growth of the economy.
“Valley Partnership supports the Arizona Drought Contingency Plan because it is an important first step for our current and future water security,” Cheryl Lombard, president and CEO of Valley Partnership, said. “It does so by protecting the priority water system, providing conservation measures to keep water in Lake Mead, and funding for even more conservation water in Lake Mead – all important items to the development industry, all economic industries and businesses in our state, and all residents.”
The House Water and Energy Committee is considering legislation regarding the Drought Contingency Plan this afternoon.
Below is the full letter: