Citizens Water Advocacy Group Hosts LD1 Water Issues Candidates Forum on October 8

Verde Valley News – Northern Arizona has big water problems that the current state legislature has failed to address, and the need for action has never been more immediate. Will the new legislators measure up to ensure a secure future for water? Will they work to develop a regional water conservation/incentive program to reduce the pumping and use of rural groundwater by private water systems? What are their ideas for a regional rainwater harvesting and recharge program to reduce overdraft?

Candidates in Arizona’s Legislative District 1 will discuss these questions and more during a Candidates Forum presented via Zoom by the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) on Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. A question and answer period will follow the presentation if time permits. The Zoom registration link is displayed in the “Next meeting” section at . A video of the forum will be posted on the CWAG website shortly after the event.

Participating candidates are Mike Fogel (D) and Ken Bennett (R) for the Open Senate seat, and Cathy Ransom (D), Neil Sinclair(D), Selina Bliss(R) and Quang Nguyen (R – incumbent) for the two open seats of the State House. Questions have been sent to candidates in advance and are posted in the forum information under “Current Issues” at . CWAG Board Member Gary Beverly will moderate the forum.

The CWAG is non-partisan, but all water issues are political. CWAG urges citizens to know where state House and Senate candidates stand on the critical issues facing our regional water supply and the Verde River and to vote for candidates who are committed to working for solutions that help our region.

Our water problems are not a concern for the distant future. We are already living with the consequences of ignoring them. In the Prescott Active Management Area, groundwater pumping far exceeds replenishment, depleting our reserves, decimating Del Rio Springs and drying up wells in Williamson Valley, Chino Valley and Coyote Springs. And at the end of June, the water flow of the Verde River at the Perkinsville Bridge in Clarkdale was at an all-time high. Our water situation will only worsen at an accelerated rate without bold and effective legislation.

CWAG is a local citizens group advocating for a water secure future for Prescott and Central Yavapai County and for the protection of the Upper Verde River. For more information, visit or email [email protected]

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Melvin B. Baillie