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AZ agency looking for new water sources sees more cuts in budget proposals

An agency tasked with adding to Arizona’s imperiled water supply could be left with only half of the $1 billion former Gov. Doug Ducey and state lawmakers promised two years ago. 

Last year’s budget cut a planned deposit for the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority by nearly 50%.

The money was redirected to other projects such as new water wells in Gilbert and Peoria.

And with the state now facing a massive deficit, Gov. Katie Hobbs’ latest budget proposal cuts a promised $333 million deposit to the water authority to just $33 million.

WIFA’s director Chuck Podolak is asking for enough funding to hit that $1 billion goal.

He says cutting funding will hurt Arizona’s ability to draw in private investors who would provide the majority of the money needed to secure another water source.

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.