Goldwater Institute Issues Plan to Solve Arizona’s Water Problem That Doesn’t Expand Government

As concerns grow that Arizona and neighboring states may be facing a water shortage due to one of the worst droughts in history, solutions are being proposed in the Arizona Legislature and by water experts.

The Goldwater Institute issued a report on March 15 in conjunction with the Environment Research Center (PERC), outlining reforms in four specific policy areas to deal with the problem. The report asserts that these proposals would not “require a dramatic expansion of the role of government.”

Bryan Leonard, a faculty affiliate in the Economics Department and the Center for Behavior, Institutions, and the Environment at Arizona State University, and Tate Watkins, a research fellow and managing editor at PERC, conducted the study. Leonard told The Arizona Sun Times, “As Arizona plans for a hotter and drier future, there is more work to be done to secure water supplies and promote sustainable management. Making sensible reforms now can help ensure that all Arizonans have a reliable supply of water well into the future, even as our population continues to grow.”

The report points out that Arizona “arguably leads the nation in water conservation efforts.” Unlike California, Arizona “established a system to manage groundwater pumping in fast-growing areas decades before neighbors such as California.” As a result of its conservation work, “In 2017, water use statewide was less than it had been 60 years earlier, despite the fact the population grew seven-fold over the same period.” The state has saved 3 trillion gallons of water in underground aquifers, enough to supply Phoenix for three decades.

Read the rest of the article at The Arizona Sun Times

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