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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials April 24, 2015

3/13/2013 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: Tobin water bill aims to help all
The Daily Courier

It often can be a fine balancing act over there in the Arizona Legislature. We elect folks to represent us, hoping they will pay attention to the interests of the district they come from, all the time knowing full well what often happens to our friends and neighbors when they achieve elected office.

They turn into politicians.

Once ensconced in Phoenix, even the most rural of representatives has to quickly learn the realities of Arizona deal-making. That is, in order to get something done for those of us outside of the Great State of Maricopa, one first must find a way to be heard, and then quite often come to a bargain that satisfies the fierce hunger of the metropolis.

Our own Andy Tobin has been around long enough to know how this all works. As the speaker of the Arizona House, he has a hand in much of the legislation that passes through the chamber. This week, though, he encountered the realities that point out the difficulties in really trying to satisfy the interests of his constituents.

Of course, he's encountering those difficulties while working on the most historic of Arizona issues: water.

It's far from secret that the tri-city area is walking the razor's edge when it comes to the precious liquid. Millions of dollars already have been spent pursuing the dream of importing water from the Big Chino aquifer near Tobin's hometown of Paulden, an effort that seems perpetually stalled. Not only do the large water interests in the Valley of the Sun (read SRP) object to the notion of diverting "their" water to the Prescott area, many locals also are skeptical of the effort, for reasons including cost and concern over the fate of the Verde River.

Tobin appears to be determined to bring a bill to the floor of the House that would create "water augmentation authorities" that presumably would develop the expertise enabling the state to move existing water resources to places with a dire need. The new agencies, Tobin envisions, would have authority to form public-private alliances, make deals to move water and obtain financing, even condemn land for public use.

In a meeting earlier this week, Tobin found out just how hard it is to promote hometown interests. He came under fire from farmers and ranchers from as far away as Yuma, and from as near at hand as Cottonwood. Many think that Tobin is pushing this bill, which thus far has been held up in committee, as a boon to the folks who put him in office.

We think that Tobin is a far-sighted enough to craft a bill that would benefit the state as a whole. And if it does something positive for his home district, that's even better.

It is, after all, why we elected him.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013
Article comment by: Common Sense

I wonder how much money Fred Ruskin contributed to Tobins campaign?
It's only about the money to these people. Greed and uncontrolled growth is going to produce a very negative effect for Prescott and Arizona.
Mother Nature makes the rules and if we keep upsetting that system we are only poisoning ourselves and our children even more than we already have.

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Ian Worob

There isn't enough information in this article to form a logical conclusion for or against this bill. There are states in this country who have made it illegal to transport water from one area to another if it adversely affects the donor area. Just think of the impact on an area that is robbed of it's water, oh wait, that is most of Arizona.
When will we get really far reaching legislation that forces rain water catchment and recycled grey water and take advantage of natural resources, like "rain."
I agree with providing a means for impoverished areas with shortages of water but what are the means to help that which should be addressed first. Please provide more information than the article you provided.
If Prescott were to provide funding for each residence and business in Prescott we would never need the Big Chino and it would be much less than the $200 million it will cost for the latter.
I am in agreement that their should be public/private partnerships but they should be watershed management boards with a watershed management plan for each specific locality.

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: consider this

Mr. Tobin was not around when the City of Glendale was looking at the Big Chino Aquifer for their water, or when the idea of a pipeline down the Verde River canyon was proposed. He does not realize that if creates an agency to help move water around then they might just come and takes his water before long. If they will do it with you, they will do it to you.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Leslie Hoy

As Tobin's bill currently stands, the augmentation districts it would create would have little or no oversight and would be able to issue junk bonds with no responsibility for repaying them if the districts failed to raise enough revenue through the sale of their water. As ADWR pointed out in a letter sent to Tobin, there should be a statewide plan for our water resources, rather than a bunch of warring unregulated augmentation authorities.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

The editorial left out the 30 Million requested in the bill to come from the general fund. To move around and steal water from one to help another is not productive. And those who benefit from imported water from anywhere need to pay the costs, not the general public. Then, if it is cost effective it can happen. Otherwise it should NOT happen. Keep government out of business! It always ends up costing the taxpayer.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: It's About Time

Courier, more articles like this pointing out what good conservatives do would help the citizens and taxpayers of the state.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: An American

A modern day Robin Hood. you can not give to one man without first taking from another. Obama would be proud of Tobin for spreading that wealth...

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