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Arizona Water Officials Remind Community Gardeners About Groundwater Law

Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 3:41pm
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 5:21pm
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(Photo by Mark Brodie – KJZZ)
Greg Peterson at his Urban Farm in north central Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources recently issued a reminder of sorts to farmers and community gardeners in the Valley — that they could be in violation of the Groundwater Management Act of 1980.

That law is often credited with helping the state prepare for, and deal with, its current drought. Under the Act, new irrigated farms in certain parts of the state cannot be bigger than 2 acres. Tom Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, answers what prompted his agency to put this out.
To get a sense of what kind of impact this guidance might have on Valley farmers and gardeners, we spoke to Greg Peterson and headed out to his Urban Farm in north Central Phoenix.

Peterson’s front yard is lined with fruit trees; he says there are more than 80 of them on the property. Standing just a few steps from a bed where he’s growing kale, chard and other veggies, he explains what he makes of the note from the state Water Resources Department.

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