Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed B1740 yesterday, investing $1.2 billion over three years to fund projects that will bring additional water to the state to secure Arizona’s water future, improve existing water infrastructure and implement effective conservation tools. The projects will help ensure that Arizona families, businesses and agriculture continue to have adequate long-term water supplies.
Western Growers staff worked with stakeholders, legislators and the Governor’s office to ensure current water resource allocations are protected for existing agricultural uses and agriculture will be represented during the selection process for future projects. SB1740 represents the most significant water legislation since the state implemented groundwater protections in 1980. SB1740 appropriates more than $1 billion to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) and expands it with new responsibilities to provide loans and grants to water providers and entities for the purposes of importing water into Arizona, conservation, efficiency and reuse, and new technologies.
At the signing Gov. Ducey said: “Today, we are taking a bold step to do what the men and women of Arizona hired us to do — position our state for success today, tomorrow and for generations to come. This legislation is crucial for our continued growth and prosperity. It will ensure Arizona remains a land of opportunity for families and for businesses large and small. As we’ve done over the past seven and a half years, we came together, brought everyone to the table and delivered for the people of this great state. And by doing so, we are leaving Arizona better and stronger than we found it. I want to thank Senator Sine Kerr and Representative Gail Griffin for sponsoring this legislation and consistently leading on Arizona’s most pressing issues. I also want to thank: Senate President Karen Fann, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Leaders Rebecca Rios and Reginald Bolding. It is because of all your efforts that this passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Senate Bill 1740 gives the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) additional authority and tools that will empower the state to be proactive in bringing in new water sources. WIFA will continue to finance the design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure projects using federal and state funds. Now with the expansion, WIFA will pursue augmentation and conservation projects with a new board structure appointed jointly by the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Ducey.