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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.

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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.