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WRA and Arizona Water Partners Recognized as a 2020 Leader of the Year

Western Resource Advocates and its Water for Arizona Coalition partners were honored this summer to receive the Arizona Capitol Times 2020 Leader of the Year Award in the Environment Category. The annual awards ceremony recognizes individuals and organizations that “have contributed greatly to the growth of our state. These groups, companies and individuals hunker down each day to find ways to improve the quality of life of Arizonans.”

Kim Mitchell

Senior Policy Advisor


The award is a testament to the work that WRA and the Water for Arizona Coalition have done over the years to improve water conservation in the state and protect Arizona’s vital rivers and streams, as well as the wildlife, people, and businesses that depend upon them.

WRA and the Water for Arizona Coalition (WAC) – which also includes American Rivers, Audubon Arizona, Business for Water Stewardship, and Environmental Defense Fund – support innovative practices and smart policies to ensure a reliable water supply to meet Arizona’s needs. The coalition has played an instrumental role in supporting forward-thinking water policies and practices in the state, including:

  • Working with Arizona water leaders, tribes, lawmakers, and stakeholders to craft Arizona’s plan to implement a three-state Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan. The drought plan is designed to increase water conservation to help prop up water levels in Lake Mead through 2026. This will decrease the likelihood that the reservoir – a key source of water for Arizona — will fall to critically low levels, thereby helping to prevent deeper shortages on the Colorado River and devastating cuts to Arizona’s water supply.
  • Supporting the passage of a 2019 law, HB 2467, to help communities in La Paz and Mohave counties take steps to sustainably manage their groundwater resources. Groundwater levels are rapidly declining in many basins throughout Arizona, and this law formed two locally led study committees that will determine the extent to which local groundwater supplies are at risk and make recommendations for potential solutions.
  • Connecting Arizona farmers – who are struggling with drought and rising temperatures due to climate change – with the U.S. Farm Bill’s new funding and programs to help growers leverage the resources in the legislation to address challenges in their farming operations. I’m leading this work for WRA, and the goal is to ensure these programs continue to keep farmers in business, improve Arizona’s water management and, ultimately, help the Colorado River.

Looking forward, WRA and WAC will continue working to ensure a reliable water supply for all Arizonans, protection of the state’s vital groundwater resources, funding to support sound water management, and safeguards for Arizona’s precious desert rivers and streams.

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Western Resource Advocates