Arizona Farm Bureau Statement on the Tier One Declaration
Arizona, August 16, 2021 – The following statement can be attributed to Arizona Farm Bureau: With the release of today’s 24-month study by the Bureau of Reclamation showing that Lake Mead is in a Tier-One shortage, Pinal County agriculture faces a dire reality. Beginning in 2022, farms in Central Arizona will lose access to nearly half of the water on which they now rely to grow food and fiber for Arizona’s families. This will have a devastating impact on each farming family in that county, and the surrounding communities will feel the ripple effects for years to come.
Irrigation districts in Central Arizona are working diligently to improve and expand well infrastructure to help replace some of the lost water with groundwater. But even with increased pumping capacity, there are no options currently available to fully mitigate the economic or environmental impacts of this shortage declaration.
Arizona’s access to water, and its options for managing drought, were made possible because of Arizona’s agricultural history. If you are one of the farmers who spent decades and countless dollars to wisely manage water resources, it’s difficult to wrap your head around: despite being instrumental in bringing this water to the people of Arizona, by way of growing food and fiber for the people of Arizona, you are the first to lose access to this most precious resource. 
But we know that the same spirit of innovation that made farmers the leaders in developing Arizona’s water supply will guide them as they navigate this challenge. Arizona Farm Bureau is dedicated to continuing our work with policymakers and the public to find the solutions necessary to build greater resilience into Arizona's water supply and keep Arizona agriculture strong for generations to come. 
Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse said, “To ensure that food can continue to be safely and affordably produced in the West, significant investments in water infrastructure are needed. The Arizona agriculture industry annually contributes $23 billion to the economy. Supporting an effort to improve existing water infrastructure and fund new technologies will benefit our current economy and allow more flexibility to conserve this precious resource, all while continuing to provide food security here at home.” 
About Arizona Farm Bureau 
The Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Arizona agriculture industry through member involvement in advocacy, outreach, education, programs and services. As a member services organization, individuals can become a member by contacting the Farm Bureau online. Go to to learn more about Arizona agriculture.