Verde Valley News – Northern Arizona has big water problems that the current state Legislature has failed to address, and the need for action has never been more immediate. Will incoming legislators be up to the task of ensuring a secure water future? Will they work to develop a regional water conservation/incentive program to reduce rural groundwater pumping and use by private water systems? What are their ideas for a regional stormwater recovery and recharge program to reduce the overdraft?
Candidates for Arizona Legislative District 1 will be discussing these questions and more at a Candidate Forum presented via Zoom by the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. – noon. A question and answer period will follow the presentation as time permits. The Zoom registration link is posted in the “Next Meeting” section at www.cwagaz.org . A video of the forum will be posted on the CWAG website shortly after the event.
The participating candidates are Mike Fogel (D) and Ken Bennett ( R) for the one open state Senate seat, and Cathy Ransom (D), Neil Sinclair(D), Selina Bliss(R) and Quang Nguyen (R – incumbent) for the two open state House seats. Questions have been sent to the candidates in advance and are posted in the forum information under “Current Issues” at www.cwagaz.org . CWAG board member Gary Beverly will moderate the forum.
CWAG is nonpartisan, but all water issues are political. CWAG urges citizens to learn where candidates for the state House and Senate stand on the critical issues facing our regional water supply and the Verde River and to vote for those candidates who pledge to work for solutions that help our area.
Our water problems are not a concern for the distant future. We are already living with the consequences of ignoring them. In the Prescott Active Management Area, the pumping of groundwater far exceeds replenishment, depleting our reserves, decimating Del Rio Springs and drying wells in Williamson Valley, Chino Valley and Coyote Springs. And in late June, the Verde River water flow at Perkinsville Bridge in Clarkdale was at an all-time record low. Our water situation will only worsen at an accelerated rate without bold and effective legislation.
CWAG is a local citizens group advocating for a secure water future for Prescott and central Yavapai County and for the protection of the upper Verde River. For more information, visit www.cwagaz.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org .