Catching up on the news while I was out of town, I just read the Dec. 3 editorial in the Arizona (Phoenix) Republic, calling for restoring the state budget for the Arizona Dept. of Water Resources.
ADWR, like the rest of state agencies, has taken drastic budget cuts over the past four years, closing branch offices and reducing staff by about 2/3.
The Republic argues for restoring ADWR's budget to 2009 levels.
They conclude that The agency's director represents Arizona in negotiations over the Colorado River, which supplies more than a third of Arizona's water. To defend our interests, we need a strong team with the ability to do in-depth research. Arizona is particularly vulnerable because we have "junior status," part of the deal to get the Central Arizona Project. If shortages are declared, we lose all our allocation before California gives up a drop. [Right, Colorado River watershed]My conversations with Legislators and state budget officials indicate that most everyone expects the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, which begins in July 2012, will be flat, even if revenues improve somewhat. Even if that were not the case, competition for any potential increased funds will be more than stiff, given the demands for education and social services.