U.S. Water News Online
PHOENIX -- Nearly 90 percent of people surveyed favor
giving rural leaders in Arizona the power to stop new subdivisions if
developers can't guarantee a long-term water supply, according to a
The Arizona Republic poll also shows that a majority of those
surveyed believe the state Legislature should grant Gov. Janet
Napolitano's request for the authority to impose water conservation
measures if a serious need arises.
Since imposing strict limits on the use of groundwater in mostly
urban areas 25 years ago, state leaders have left water policy to
local communities, whose programs have varied widely depending on
During the drought, the vast majority of cities in Arizona have
been reluctant to impose mandatory cutbacks in water use. Instead,
many have urged residents to use less on a voluntary basis.
The governor can impose water restrictions throughout the state if
a formal emergency is declared. Napolitano believes she should have
more authority to implement conservation measures in times of
In the Republic's poll, 57 percent of those asked favor giving
Napolitano that power, while 37 percent oppose the idea.
Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed believe local governments
should be able to consider water availability in making decisions
about new development with 8 percent opposing the idea.
The newspaper's poll was based on telephone interviews with 602
Arizona adults from Jan. 3-5. The margin of error was plus or minus 4
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