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Midterm elections could have key impact on future of Arizona's water

Posted at 5:59 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 07:40:10-04

One of this year’s least talked about elections could be one of the most critical, especially if you care about the future of Arizona’s water.
From your faucet to the local farm, people across central Arizona depend on the water that comes from the Central Arizona Project, the 336-mile canal that transports water from the Colorado River.
Southwest water managers have predicted a potential shortfall on the Colorado River by the year 2020, if that happens, cuts to Arizona's water allotment will happen first. Rates for cities would rise, and water for agriculture slashed.
Frank Martin, the owner of Crooked Sky Farms in Phoenix, has been through cuts before when the Salt River Project declared a shortage in the early 2000s.
“At that time we had to cut back and fallow 10 acres of corn,” said Martin. “It's not a lot, but it is to us because we're really little farmers.”
The Central Arizona Water Conservation District is the name given to the organization that operates CAP, setting rates and directly dealing with the Colorado River issues.
According to Warren Tenney, former board member and current Executive Director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, the potential of a looming cut makes this year’s race even more important.
“The candidates that will be elected will definitely have an influence on how Arizona moves forward,” said Tenney.
The board will also focus on a Drought Contingency Plan, working with other states that depend on the Colorado River in a way that will protect Arizona's interests while dealing with the rising pressure from a shortage declaration.
“We want to make sure that our water supplies are protected and that we're able to manage those supplies in a way that keeps our economy moving,” said Tenney.
The seats on the board are unpaid, nonpartisan and run six-year terms. Tenney believes that it's important to keep party politics out of the water.
“Water isn’t blue or red, it's important for all Arizonans,” said Tenney.
There are fourteen candidates in the running for five open seats in Maricopa County. The candidates have ranging backgrounds from business owners to golf course managers.
To find out more about the candidates, below are the links to those that have campaign websites:
Frank Lee Archer: N/A
Lisa A. Atkins:
Jim Ballinger: --
Alan Dulaney:
Kerry Giangobbe:
Terry Goddard:
Jim Iannuzo:
Heather A. Macre:
Jennifer Martin:
April M. Pinger:
Daniel W. Schweiker:
Ronald Sereny: N/A
Rory Vanpoucke:
Chris A. Will: N/A