State Panel Recommends Extending Drought Declaration
Arizona has officially been in a drought since 1999. A state panel recently recommended that designation stay in place for another year. KNAU’s Justin Regan has more.
The Governor’s Drought Interagency Coordinating Group says the state’s water resources keep declining from a culmination of more than two decades of low precipitation. Last year’s wet winter did not change that and this winter is predicted to be dry.
“When we have a drier than normal winter we typically also have a warmer than normal winter. We really want to have those winter storms. Because they’re just a lot more effective than the summer monsoons in terms of water resources,” says state climatologist Nacy Selover.
Under the drought declaration state aid is given to heavily affected areas, mostly rural, and state agencies are required to cut back on water consumption. Utilities and citizens are encouraged to conserve as well. A separate panel created by Governor Doug Ducey is also working to suggest changes to state law in response to the drought.