PHOENIX (AP) — A bill that would unravel rules requiring a 100-year water supply for new developments in some rural Arizona counties received preliminary approval in the House on Wednesday.
The bill by Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, would allow some cities in Cochise and Yuma counties to opt out of rules that require them to have enough water to last a century.
If approved, the legislation also could help a developer get around a lawsuit that’s holding up construction of nearly 7,000 homes in Sierra Vista.
The U.S. Bureau of Land management sued the Arizona Department of Water Resources for signing off on Castle & Cooke’s water plan to build in Sierra Vista. The federal agency claims the developer intends to use groundwater that is linked to a federally protected conservation area along the San Pedro River.