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Maybe AZ AG Kris Mayes Didn't Cancel Tucker Carlson But She Did Save State's Water From Saudi Arabia
We still consider this a Nice Time!
Arizona's new Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes is delivering on a campaign promise to rein in a Saudi Arabian alfalfa grower that had free access to the state's groundwater through a land lease. Although Arizona's drought conditions are improving, the state doesn't have a lot of water to spare, especially for shady governments.
Mayes tweeted last week, "Just 8 months ago, Arizona state agencies approved new deep-water wells in La Paz County for a Saudi-owned company to pump thousands of gallons of water per-minute. I can tell you that today — just before Earth Day — that's not happening. Those drill permits have been revoked."
Wow, Mayes went full Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon on those drill permits!
It's time to wake up and protect Arizona's most precious natural resource - water. Due to the historic long-term drought facing the state and the growing effects of climate change, Arizona is on the cusp of a water crisis that could have devastating impacts for all Arizonans.
For too long, our state leaders have been asleep at the wheel while this crisis has only grown. Well, with new state leadership and the ever-increasing urgency of the issue, now is the time for the state government to get serious about regulating groundwater across Arizona.
The Saudi-owned company, Fondomonte, had applications for two new deep-water wells on the Butler Valley state trust land that were approved eight months ago, when Republican Mark Brnovich was attorney general. Mayes had planned to take action on those leases in March, but MAGA Gov. Kari Lake ... no, wait, this is reality ... Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs said, "It's a very complex issue, and not something that the AG has the authority to, frankly, do on her own." Hobbs was also concerned that the state could be sued for singling out one land lease.
Mayes sent a letter last week to the Arizona Department of Water Resources that pointed out inconsistencies in Fondomonte's permit applications and requested heightened scrutiny over any new applications from the company, as well as improved coordination between the ADWR and the Arizona State Land Department.
Several large corporate farms in western and southeastern Arizona have come under criticism for using large amounts of water as the southwestern United States is experiencing a severe drought.
In some cases, neighbors have complained that the corporate farms have used so much water that neighboring wells have run dry. In addition, Arizona faces the possibility of losing substantial amounts of Colorado River water when the federal government announces new action to combat low water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
Alfafa is actually illegal to grow in Saudi Arabia because it requires too much water, so apparently the novel solution was growing the crop in a drought-stricken US state. Fondomonte had applied for two 1,200-foot, 3,000-gallons-per- minute wells.
"Pumps are pumping water out of the ground that belongs to the State of Arizona, and essentially it's being exported to Saudi Arabia," Mayes said. "We cannot afford to give our water away frankly to anyone, let alone the Saudis, for free."
Technically, the water isn't free. The state had rented Fondomonte land for $25 an acre, which lets the company pump unlimited amounts of groundwater at no additional cost. Mayes described the arrangement as "insane," but now she's officially cut the hose. And she literally did so in time for Earth Day like a hippie. We knew we'd enjoy having a Democratic attorney general in Arizona!
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