New Poll: Strong Majority of Arizona Voters Support Groundwater Protections Essential to their Communities
Statewide survey from the Water for Arizona Coalition finds majority of likely voters are concerned about water, legislative inaction
Phoenix, Arizona (May 1, 2023) — New polling from EDF Action conducted on behalf of the Water for Arizona Coalition indicates that the majority of likely voters in Arizona are concerned about water security and support legislative action to protect the 80% of the state that currently has no groundwater protections essential to feeding families and preserving communities. The polling comes as rural communities continue to demand groundwater protections and push Governor Hobbs and the Arizona legislature to take action before the end of the 2023 legislative session.
Of the likely Arizona voters surveyed, nearly 74% agree groundwater is essential for communities, farming, industry, and Arizona’s way of life. Respondents also expressed overwhelming support (77.6% statewide, 78.6% rural) for Local Groundwater Stewardship Areas (LGSA), a proposal to allow rural communities to choose groundwater tools that meet their specific needs instead of being forced to choose between the rigid Active Management Areas (AMAs) or the status quo of unlimited pumping.
“The data resulting from our statewide poll reinforces what we already know: Arizona voters are engulfed in an existential water crisis and expect their lawmakers to take action to protect this essential resource,” said Christopher Kuzdas, co-lead of the Water for Arizona Coalition and Senior Water Program Manager at EDF Action. “The time is right now for Arizona lawmakers to listen to Arizona voters and act to protect our communities’ water supply in this moment and for generations to come.”
The polling results, based on a statewide public opinion survey of 500 likely Arizona voters conducted in partnership with HighGround Public Affairs, demonstrate broad and bipartisan support for groundwater regulation across age, party, and regional demographics.
“For too long, Arizona has shied away from bold action to protect our most valuable resource, and these polling results are more evidence that enough is enough. Arizonans overwhelmingly support additional groundwater protections, particularly in rural Arizona, and fear that we won’t have enough water for our state’s future. If we fail to act, those fears will materialize. It is critical we stop the bleeding of our precious water, make strong legislative changes, and provide Arizonans with a secure water future,” said Kris Mayes, Arizona Attorney General who recently sent a letter to the Arizona Department of Water Resources outlining the need for more protections on groundwater.
The Arizona Legislature is currently considering an opportunity to provide all Arizona communities with the tools needed to manage, protect and conserve their groundwater as well as adequately fund projects that would boost groundwater reliability.
“I have seen firsthand the devastating effects that excessive groundwater pumping and severe drought has had in my community. The results from this polling further emphasize that I, and my colleagues at the legislature, need to rethink and reform laws to better-protect our water and provide Arizonans more peace of mind when it comes to water security. I, along with many of my colleagues, have sponsored legislation in the arena and will continue these pursuits to ensure that the people of Arizona, including our local farmers, ranchers and developers, all feel confident about their futures in Arizona,” said Arizona State Representative and House Majority Leader, Leo Biasucci (R), one of the sponsors of the Local Groundwater Stewardship Areas bill.
Water for Arizona Coalition experts are available for interviews to discuss the poll results, support for groundwater protection, and the Local Groundwater Stewardship Areas proposal currently being considered by the Arizona Legislature.
The complete survey results can be found here.