For almost two years, HighGround has worked with a broad coalition of stakeholders and community partners to provide leadership, strategy, survey research, messaging, and communications support to pass the Arizona Drought Contingency Plan (DCP).
Along the way, we have experienced many different types of days – some challenging and others heartening. One day that sparked celebration was January 31, 2019 when the Arizona Legislature passed the Senate Joint Resolution 1001 authorizing Arizona to join the DCP by a combined vote of 89 to 1, and it was signed by the Governor the very same day.
All of these days led to yesterday which can be only described one way – historic. Seven basin states that rely on the Colorado River came together to sign a letter asking Congress to authorize the immediate implementation of the DCP. March 19, 2019 will mark a significant day in Arizona’s history, forging innovative methods that will serve as a model for other states.This step is the cornerstone future generations will come to recognize as instrumental in Arizona water policy.
The success of the DCP and the future of Arizona’s water supply sat heavily on the shoulders of the men and women at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the Central Arizona Project, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and over 40 AZDCP Steering Committee members – including Arizona tribes and the agriculture community. Their ability to work side by side towards a common goal for the betterment of Arizona is commendable.
The individuals involved in this process have shown exemplary leadership and have provided a pathway to shape and protect Arizona water policy. We recognize the tremendous efforts of Tom Buschatzke, Ted Cooke, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, Governor Doug Ducey, Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, President of the State Senate Karen Fann, members of the AZDCP Steering Committee and the representatives from the six other basin states. We thank you all for your intense drive and your willingness to collaborate with one another to push the DCP passed the finish line.
Most importantly, we would like to thank our clients for the opportunity to work on this very important issue. Our clients in this effort included the Water for Arizona Coalition which is a coalition of non-profit conservation groups that is “solution oriented” and that advocates for sound policy for Arizona surface and groundwater. We were fortunate as well to work for the City of Tucson, Mohave County, and the Mohave County Water Authority. It is a privilege to work with such fine Arizonans.