1982 Ariz. St. L.J. 313 (1982)
A History of the Arizona Groundwater Management Act

handle is hein.journals/arzjl1982 and id is 337 raw text is: A History of the Arizona Groundwater
Management Act
Desmond D. Connall, Jr.*
I.  INTRODUCTION
On June 12, 1980, Governor Bruce Babbitt signed into law the most
comprehensive groundwater code in the nation, the Arizona Groundwater
Management Act.' The Act establishes ambitious goals for water conser-
vation and a complex regulatory scheme to achieve them.' This article
examines the forces and events which culminated in this historic
legislation.
The severity of Arizona's water problem is well documented.3 Approxi-
mately 5,000,000 acre feet of water4 are consumed in Arizona annually,
almost twice the estimated dependable supply.5 When the Central Ari-
zona Project (CAP) is completed in the mid-1980's, there will still be an
* Associate, Weinberg and Green, Baltimore, Maryland. A.B. 1976, Princeton University; J.D.
1981, Stanford University.
This paper was prepared under the direction of Charles J. Meyers, former Dean of the Stanford
Law School. The author is indebted to Dean Meyers for his assistance, which was essential to the
completion of the project. Much of the research for this paper was in the form of interviews with a
number of people. Transcripts of interviews with the following people are on file with the Stanford
Law School library: Governor Bruce Babbitt, Jack DeBolske, Jon Kyl, John R. McCain, Leroy
Michael, and Dale Pontius. Also interviewed were James Bush, Thomas Chandler, Kathy Ferris,
Barbara Goldberg, Senator Alfredo Gutierrez, Professor Helen Ingram, James Johnson, Senator Stan
Turley, and Mark Wilmer. The author thanks these people, all of whom were very cooperative and
very generous with their time.
1. 1980 Ariz. Sess. Laws 4th Spec. Sess. 1339.
2. For detailed analysis of the Act, see Higdon & Thompson, The 1980 Groundwater Manage-
ment Code, 1980 ARIZ. ST. L.J. 621. The Act is summarized in J. JOHNSON, STATE BAR OF ARI-
ZONA, CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION, SUMMARY OF THE 1980 ARIZONA GROUNDWATER MANAGE-
MENT ACT (1980); Pontius, Groundwater Management in Arizona: A New Set of Rules, ARIZ. B.J.,
Oct. 1980, at 28.
3. See ARIZ. WATER COMM'N, PROJECTED USES, SUPPLIES AND GROUNDWATER CONDITIONS IN
SELECTED BASINS IN ARIZONA: A BASELINE CONDITION REPORT TO THE GROUNDWATER MANAGE-
MENT STUDY COMMISSION (1978) [hereinafter cited as BASELINE REPORT].
4. An acre foot is the amount of water necessary to cover an acre with a foot of water, or 325,890
gallons.
5. Pontius, supra note 2, at 28.

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