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January Friday Morning Breakfast

Posted By Heather Garbarino, Monday, February 4, 2019

 

Going with the flow

 

Water vital to the future of the Valley development industry



A looming drought on the Colorado River could spell disaster for not only residents of Arizona but for the development community as well.

Arizona lawmakers voted to approve a plan outlining how the state would share cuts with other Western states and Native American tribes.  This meets the Bureau of Reclamation Jan. 31 deadline to make a deal or else it will step in make the needed cuts to stop Lake Mead’s water level from plunging.

The Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) was the topic of January’s Friday Morning Breakfast. Valley Partnership is playing a key role on behalf of the development community led by President and CEO Cheryl Lombard.

The discussion focused on three major topics:

>> How will the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan help the Colorado River and Lake Mead?

>> How will responsible development and the need for critical infrastructure investment take place in the Johnson Utilities service area with EPCOR as the interim water manager?

>> What is the future of the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) and how do tribal communities like the Gila River Indian Community help address our state’s water shortage? 

Valley Partnership assembled the key players in all of the state’s water discussions to map out how potential agreements on water will affect the development industry and what must be done to properly manage and deliver clean, reliable water to Arizonans now and into the future.

The panel included Tom Buschatzke, Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources; Ted Cooke, General Manager, Central Arizona Water Conservation District; Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community; and Joe Gysel, President, EPCOR, USA.


 

 

“Water is an important economic development tool,” Lombard said in her opening remarks as moderator. “Valley Partnership’s position is that we have been engaged with all the stakeholders the past few years. Recently we have represented the interests of our development members in accordance with our advocacy.”

 

Valley Partnership crafted an overview of guiding principles to evaluate the DCP in order to protect and sustain Arizona’s maximum Colorado River water supply. Some included:

>> Promoting a vibrant and growing economy while maintain good stewardship of our water;

 

>> Protecting Arizona’s Colorado River allotment and the state’s ability to effectively manage the allotment;

 

>> Supporting local jurisdictions and industry in their reasonable and cost-effective efforts to address critical infrastructure needs;

 

>> Supporting the creation and use of long-term storage credits to allow flexible management of water resources necessary to achieve the goals state above.

 

“Ted and I have been at the legislature working on key legislative elements of the importance of this plan for Arizona. Everyone has been working hard to assist in implantation of the DCP,” Buschatzke said.

 

Said Gov. Lewis: “Cheryl (Lombard) has been a great spokesperson and advocate on the steering committee for your interests. These have been some very difficult discussions, but she has brought her concerns to the forefront.”

 

 

 

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