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Reinhardt: Pinal County’s water resources must be managed carefully


An Arizona Department of Water Resources report found all of Pinal County’s groundwater is spoken for. Yet over 700 rental homes have been approved in Casa Grande which circumvent water laws. Why has this been allowed?

The situation is very concerning, especially given the findings of the ADWR report. It’s crucial for local authorities to carefully manage water resources, particularly in areas where groundwater availability is limited or already allocated. The approval of new housing developments, especially ones that may circumvent water laws or regulations, could exacerbate existing water scarcity issues.

Several factors contribute to why such developments have been allowed despite the concerns raised by the ADWR report:

Decisions regarding land use and development approvals are made at the local government level. If the local authorities have approved these developments, it could be due to various reasons such as economic incentives, pressure from developers or perceived benefits to the community. Sometimes, developers exploit legal loopholes or exemptions to gain approval for projects that would otherwise be restricted by water laws. These loopholes arise due to inconsistencies or gaps in existing regulations. Even if water laws exist, enforcement mechanisms are lacking or ineffective. This allows developers to proceed with projects that are not in full compliance with regulations. Political factors also play a role in allowing such developments to proceed. This includes lobbying efforts by developers or influential individuals who stand to benefit from the projects. There might be a perception within the community or among decision-makers that the economic benefits of new housing developments outweigh the potential risks or concerns related to water usage. This leads to a prioritization of short-term gains over long-term sustainability.

Addressing these issues will require a combination of stronger regulations, improved enforcement mechanisms, transparent decision-making processes and community engagement to ensure that water resources are managed responsibly and sustainably. It may involve revisiting zoning laws, incentivizing water-efficient development practices and investing in water conservation measures.

I live in northern Pinal County and because of this unethical action, my well has run dry.