I just got this bit of depressing news over email. I encourage AEG members and concerned professionals and citizens to contact their state representation and let them know of the importance of ADWR to the needs and safety of the residents of Arizona.
You can find the contact info for your representatives at the following website: http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp
I appreciate the great interest in the Department that you’ve expressed in your calls and emails over the last several weeks as we embark into this new territory of revenue shortfalls and budget cuts. It is becoming apparent that the importance of DWR’s mission is becoming lost in the budget discussions down at the Capitol. The leaked Republican budget worksheets from last week, the released budget proposal from House Democrats yesterday, and the House Republican budget would each give DWR a $10 million budget. To give you some perspective, our total appropriated FY 08 budget was $24.1 million including special line items (SLIs), $23 million from General Fund and $1.1 million from our Assured and Adequate Water Supply Fund.
A $10 million budget would require the Department to layoff approximately 140 of our 185 employees. You can probably imagine that the impact of such a reduction in force would be severe, and you would be correct – here are just a few examples of impacts: no more adjudications work, no assured or adequate water supply permitting, no hydrologic monitoring, no dam inspections, no long-term water planning for the state, no water conservation or drought planning. In order to function, an $18.4 million budget would allow us to continue our core work, but albeit at a significantly reduced level. It would still require us to close office(s), eliminate contracts, and make other difficult sacrifices.
Any help you can provide to support the Department’s mission is greatly appreciated.
Legislative Liaison Arizona Department of Water Resources
Office: (602) 771-8429
Mobile: (602) 679-4281