HB2857 – Rural groundwater management

Bill description provided by BillTrack50.com

Sponsored by Chris Mathis (D) and Priya Sundareshan (D)

NOTE: This bill did not pass

This bill amends the Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to the management of groundwater in the state. The bill empowers the director of the Department of Water Resources to formulate plans and programs, investigate proposals and practices, collect information, and regulate activities related to the use of surface water and groundwater. The director is also permitted to acquire and dispose of property as necessary, including rights-of-way and water rights.
In addition to this, the bill establishes Rural Groundwater Management Areas (RGMAs), which are areas that are deemed to need management practices to manage the existing groundwater supply for future or current needs. For these RGMAs, Rural Groundwater Management Area Councils are to be formed. These councils are to adopt groundwater management goals, develop management plans, and cooperate with other organizations in managing water resources.
The bill also mandates measures to report on and reduce groundwater use in these areas, including water conservation programs and restrictions on the locations of wells.  The bill includes provisions for judicial review and appeal of decisions made under its authority, and sets out penalties for noncompliance with its measures.
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