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Attorney general urges state agencies to conserve groundwater resources

Attorney General Kris Mayes has criticized the state’s relationship with Saudi-owned alfalfa farms that pump groundwater in rural Arizona with little oversight.

She recently made note of other aspects of groundwater law.

Last month, in a letter to Tom Buschatzki, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Mayes said that Arizona groundwater law is dynamic, and should adapt to ever-changing circumstances and analyze the potential for new Active Management Areas in rural communities.

She also expressed concern over hedge fund purchases of land near the Colorado River, which include water rights and could pave the way for future deals.

Mayes said she plans to arrange a meeting between the state’s land and water agencies.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.