/ Modified may 9, 2016 1:43 p.m.

Bill Would Waive Water Rules in Cochise, Yuma Counties

Currently, new housing developments need to show they have a 100-year supply

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Senate Bill 1268 allows municipalities in Cochise and Yuma counties to waive requirements that new housing developments show they have a 100-year water supply.

Opponents of the bill said it is a special interest bill, allowing a developer in Sierra Vista to move forward with a new housing area.

Rep. Lisa Otondo, D-Yuma, said even though her home county is singled out, they don’t want the change. She also said the plan is a bad one for the state as a whole.

“I don’t want to be like California. California’s problem was complete mismanagement of groundwater,” Otonodo said.

Supporters, including Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, countered that Cochise County and Sierra Vista have plenty of water.

“Sierra Vista is, in fact, continuing to recharge into underground aquifers and they will continue to do that,” said Barton.

The bill has a final vote in the House before going to Gov. Doug Ducey.

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