by David Iwanski
Former Goodyear Water Resources manager
In 1980, our state Legislature passed and Gov. Bruce Babbitt signed into law the Arizona Groundwater Management Act, which, to this day, represents the most comprehensive piece of legislation of its kind in the nation. Cities, towns, private water utilities, mining interests, environmental groups and irrigated agriculture were all represented during deliberations. The Act mandated that water users reduce their excessive pumping of groundwater, which was depleting our aquifers, it required reductions in per capita consumption and cropping irrigation, it required mandatory conservation and water resources planning, and lastly, it encouraged development of renewable water supplies, including surface water and reclaimed wastewater.