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New administration, new focus on conserving AZ groundwater resources

New Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs recently called attention to the importance of conserving groundwater.

There are signs the state is about to get serious about protecting its most vital resource.

Experts say that groundwater took tens of thousands of years to accumulate, yet some parts of the state are using it up in a matter of decades.

Hobbs recently released a report that raised concerns about groundwater supplies in the West Valley.

And new Attorney General Kris Mayes made a campaign promise to stop Saudi Arabian entities from using Arizona’s groundwater to grow alfalfa to ship back to their country.

“We were really encouraged by the governor’s state of the state address," said Haley Paul, of the Water for Arizona Coalition. "First of all that water was a top priority and second of all that she highlighted the need for management of our existing groundwater resources.”

The state Department of Water Resources recently imposed groundwater restrictions on agriculture near Kingman.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.