Weekly Legislative Update: GOP discusses water issues and policies
Majority Whip Sine Kerr (R) of District 25 joined Arizona Horizon to discuss Arizona’s water issues, recapping the joint water committee that just happened between the House and Senate recently, as well as the Attorney General’s attempts to get involved in water policy.
Concerning the new three-state agreement on water, “its great news,” Kerr said. “It’s always better when the states can make their own agreement rather than have the federal government come in and do it for us.”
This deal is a quick solution to get us to 2026, Kerr said. We now have time to focus on a long-term solution that will aid us river water conservation for 2026 and beyond. Arizona just had a wonderful winter in terms of gathering water, but this does not mean that it provides a permanent solution.
“We always look at the water situation very long term. We have to be very visionary, very vigilant, and be preparing for the future. We need to take advantage of this great snowmelt, water and precipitation that we got and build upon it,” Kerr said.
The WIFA (Water Infrastructure Finance Authority) bill was created last year, which included the water augmentation portion, water supply development fund for in-state projects and conservation fund. These efforts are still a priority and will continue to be focused on, Kerr said.
Are there Concerns about GroundWater Pumping in Arizona?
“We’re concerned about all of it. We always have to make sure that we’re being as efficient as we can and monitoring. Last session, also in the WIFA bill, we put in $5 million for the Department of Water Resources to study our basins. There’s 51 I believe in the state, and so they will in the next five years have them all modeled so we know exactly what we’re dealing with,” Kerr said.