By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: No question that water is vital to our desert state. And when it comes to agriculture and water, our farmers and ranchers will tell you that they know its importance every day.
Arizona Farm Bureau has been on a recent quest to hear from various voices throughout the state on water through a series of conversations.
In one recent conversation, Sandy Fabritz-Whitney, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, shares a hopeful perspective on our state’s water
As we continue the conversation about water, we’re also talking to our agriculture leaders about their perspective too. Those following the conversation will get to see what the agriculture community is saying about protecting and conserving our water in Arizona.
In the meantime, Arizona Farm Bureau is working with agriculture leaders to hone our water policy and make sure it’s representative of our modern-day water management,
Maricopa County Farm Bureau proposed an Ad Hoc committee and put before the delegate body some guiding principles on behalf of committee members. Their motion follows.
Maricopa County Farm Bureau moves that the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation form an ad hoc committee to study all Arizona Farm Bureau policies regarding water, with the goal to streamline, organize and make recommendations regarding water policy. This committee will report their work to the County Farm Bureaus of the state in time for consideration during the policy development process that will conclude with the 2014 Arizona Farm Bureau annual meeting.
The work of the committee would be generally guided by the following basic principles:
- There is
publicbenefit to preservationof agriculture in urbanizing areas.
- Where development occurs, it should be on land having a historical use of water.
- New development should pay for its economic costs.
- No government policy should be used to interfere with
agriculturaluse of water, as long as a source of water is available.
- We support “water augmentation” efforts for communities and watersheds, where those efforts enhance supplies, without negatively impacting another area.
- Water transfers should be transparent, consider all community impacts and be subject to local control.
- The Department of Water Resources should be adequately funded to meet public expectations and legal obligations.
- We need statewide efforts as to water
planning,but subject to local community support.
The value of this special committee's efforts cannot
The motion passed and next steps will be to form the ad hoc water committee.