Gov. Ducey signs landmark $1.2 billion ‘water protection’ bill

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a landmark water legislation bill tied to the Water Infrastructure...
Gov. Doug Ducey signed a landmark water legislation bill tied to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Wednesday morning.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 10:36 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Gov. Doug Ducey signed a landmark water bill Wednesday morning in the Phoenix capitol rotunda. The legislation will put $1 billion in the new Water Infrastructure Finance Authority, allowing the state to buy and own new water sources, offer grants, and build sustainable infrastructure for importing water into Arizona.

It is viewed as the most significant since the state implemented a groundwater protection plan in 1980. Climate change and a nearly 30-year drought forced the move, which comes as Arizona already faces cutbacks in its Colorado River water supply and more loom.

“Today is a big day for Arizona,” Gov. Ducey said. “We are in the midst of a second decade of the worst drought in recorded history. Today we are taking action to do what the men and women of Arizona hired us to do: position our state for success for the generations to come.” Ducey said that he is encouraged by the growth of Arizona’s economy through large corporations like Intel and LG. “We came together, brought everyone to the table, and delivered for the people of this great state,” Gov. Ducey said. “There were countless leaders who stepped up to partner and help tackle this challenge and many of them are here today.”

He thanked those senators and representatives for their efforts to push the bill forward with bipartisan support. Senator Sine Kerr, one of the bill’s sponsors, said SB740 is the next chapter in Arizona’s water story. “Whether in times of vast flooding or times of unforeseen and extended drought, we all come together to forge solutions for the greater good of our state,” Senator Kerr said. “My heartfelt gratitude to each and every person who contributed to helping SB740 become a reality, to our incredible staff all up and down the line.”

Senate President Karen Fan said that $200 million would go toward conservation to look at short-term water goals such as irrigation through Arizona. Another $800 to $1 billion will go toward new water projects to cover future efforts and refill aquifers.

As Gov. Ducey signed the bill, he said, “Arizona’s water future is secure.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.