Arizona's water laws need to be modernized in consultation with a broad spectrum of interests. We are those stakeholders: towns, tribes, individuals, community groups, environmental and conservation groups and local businesses.


How we came together

Arizona has long been unable to sustainably manage surface water and groundwater. Groundwater pumping and surface water diversions have severely impacted major groundwater basins and degraded five of Arizona's perennial rivers: the Colorado, Gila, Salt, Santa Cruz and much of the San Pedro. The Arizona Department of Water Resources proposes to meet future water needs through "augmentation," or increasing state water supplies through expensive projects to move water from one area to another. We believe, on the other hand, in:

  • Conservation: managing demand for the water that we have

  • Restoration: keeping water in our rivers, streams and springs; and

  • Evaluation: accurately valuing the cost of augmentation compared to alternatives.

We believe that new statewide policies should integrate management of ground and surface water and ensure restoration or non-degradation of environmental flows. We hope to simplify water law, address rural Arizona's water issues and use the best available science to refocus on sustainability with an emphasis on conservation, reuse and the environment. To meet these goals we convened a Sustainable Water Working Group that will propose policies aligned with these values. 

Arizona needs to achieve a sustainable water future through effective management that controls surface water and groundwater use in a manner that can be maintained for an indefinite time, without causing unacceptable environmental, economic, or societal consequences.
— A Conservation Vision for Arizona's Water Future


  • Yuma Audubon Society

  • Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection

  • Arizona Riparian Council

  • Save The Colorado River Campaign

  • Plateau Conservation Committee - Sierra Club

  • Citizens Water Advocacy Group

  • NAU Our Climate

  • Sierra Club Rincon Group

  • Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection

  • Wild Horizons Publishing, Inc

  • Protecting Land and Neighborhoods

  • Friends of Ironwood Forest

  • Friends of Madera Canyon

  • Cascabel Conservation Association

  • Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance

  • Community Water Coalition of Southern Arizona

  • Bisbee and Cochise County People for Community Rights

  • Green Sanctuary at UUCP

  • Kids Climate Action Network

  • West Valley Neighborhoods Coalition

  • Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

  • Sustainable Arizona

  • Sky Island Alliance

  • Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter

  • Friends of the San Pedro River

  • Green Party of Pima County

  • Tucson Audubon Society

  • Three Wells Distilling Company

  • Upper Agua Fria Watershed Partnership

  • Amec Foster Wheeler

  • Saguaro Group of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club

  • Watershed Management Group

  • Great Old Broads for Wilderness

  • Madrean Archipelago Wildlife Center

  • Verde River Institute

Photos reprinted with permission by the Watershed Management Group, Tucson, AZ