Fact Sheets & Documents

Arizona Rural Groundwater: Potential Tools for Local Management.  

Groundwater is a critical resource in Arizona. This is especially true in rural Arizona, where it is often the primary or even only supply of water for residents, agriculture, industry, and other businesses.

This document presents information about a variety of tools that have been used to manage groundwater at the local level.

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The Water for Arizona Coalition (WAC) works to ensure water policies and programs that support reliable and clean water supplies for all people, healthy flowing rivers and streams, vibrant communities, and resilient economies. The Coalition is pursuing three broad water policy initiatives essential to the future of water supplies in the state.

  • Protect Groundwater Supplies

  • Secure Colorado River Supplies for the Long Term

  • Clean Water for Arizona

The Water for Arizona Coalition (WAC) shares the desire of Greater Arizonans to protect and steward
groundwater as a valuable asset for future generations. Our Coalition believes that local Arizona
communities are positioned to adopt, and implement with the assistance of the Arizona Department of
Water Resources, locally tailored solutions to sustainably manage their water resources.

Arizona Rural Groundwater: Get the Facts

Groundwater is water found underground in the crevices and spaces in soil or rock, supplying springs and wells. It is a vital water supply in Arizona, making up about 40% of the water used within our state in a typical year. In many Arizona communities, especially rural communities, groundwater is the primary or even only supply of water

The Water for Arizona Coalition (WAC) urges the CAP Board to oppose the provisions of S. 4228, introduced by Senator Martha McSally that mandate the operation of the Yuma Desalting Plant (YDP). The five organizations in our coalition, representing over 60,000 Arizona members, oppose operation of the YDP because it would decimate the Ciénega de Santa Clara by cutting off the water supply to this 40,000-acre wetland and ecological treasure of international significance in Mexico.

Recent changes in 2018 Farm Bill programs provide new opportunities to substantially reduce losses and conserve water through voluntary incentive measures that, if fully utilized, are essential to ensuring sustainability of the Colorado River. The next step is connecting Farm Bill funding with Arizona producers to help facilitate innovative projects to lessen the supply and demand imbalance that exists on the river and provide long-term water security for our state.

The Water for Arizona Coalition supports SB 2895 that reforms Subsequent Irrigation Non-Expansion Areas in Arizona. The ability to plan for the future is a core element of smart water planning that has helped build Arizona's reputation as a leader in water management. Yet, many of our rural communities do not have forward-looking water planning tools available to them.

The Water for Arizona Coalition (WAC) supports HB 2896, allowing county boards of supervisors to establish Rural Management Areas (RMAs) to allow for local planning and management of groundwater resources in rural areas. Groundwater is an essential resource, especially for Arizona’s rural communities. It is the water supply for homes, industries, and agriculture. In many areas of rural Arizona it is the primary or even only available water supply.

The Water for Arizona Coalition supports HB 2675 as amended in Committee. On the heels of 19 years of drought, and recent commitments to import less water from the Colorado River, 2019 made clear that Arizona needs to make the most of every drop of water in order to maximize economic, community and environmental benefits across the state.

The Water for Arizona Coalition (WAC) seeks additional General Fund dollars to support the Department of Water Resources and its mission.  ADWR suffered deep budget cuts following the Great Recession that continue to constrain the agency’s operations and, perhaps more importantly, its ability to ensure long-term, reliable water supplies to support Arizona’s communities and economy – from all sources - Colorado River water, groundwater and Arizona surface water.

Stay in the flow: get updates about Arizona's most valued resource.