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Koch Talks to KTVK About Arizona’s Outdated Water Law

February 21, 2023


Natalie Koch

Natalie Koch

Some corporate farms in rural Arizona are pumping millions of gallons of water out of the ground, turning a dry desert into green farmland. Critics of the current system say big farms are taking advantage of an outdated water law that allows landowners outside of active management areas to pump virtually as much water as they want to with little to no regulation. 

“If you just let anybody pump what they want, then whoever can drill deep wells can do exactly that, and they can pump as much water as they want and undercut everybody else in the area,” says Natalie Koch, professor of geography and the environment. 

Koch argues that state lawmakers need to update the state’s 43 year old water law and create more active management areas to regulate water use across Arizona. “There needs to be some way of monitoring and regulating who is drawing what from the aquifers,” says Koch.

Read more in the KTVK article, "Critics say big businesses are taking advantage of Arizona’s outdated water law."

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