ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Ducey proposes $1 billion water plant during State of State address

Jan 10, 2022, 5:00 PM

(Photo by Bill Clark/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Bill Clark/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bill Clark/Getty Images)

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday proposed setting aside $1 billion to remove the salt from sea water and bring it to Arizona, a major legacy project as he enters his eighth and final year in office.

The Republican governor previewed the plan but offered few details in his annual state of the state address, delivered to a joint session of the House and Senate.

“Instead of just talking about desalination – the technology that made Israel the world’s water superpower – how about we pave the way to make it actually happen?” Ducey said in his nearly hourlong address.

Ducey enters his final year with the state seeing a big budget surplus, a major turnaround from his first speech to lawmakers in 2015 when he faced a $1 billion deficit. Lawmakers also set aside $200 million last year for future water infrastructure.

The western United States is in the midst of a prolonged drought. Cutbacks in Arizona’s allocation of Colorado River water have already forced some farmers to let their fields go fallow, and more cuts are likely down the road absent a major weather turnaround.

Ducey said he has been working on the plan with House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Senate President Karen Fann, both Republicans. He didn’t say where he’d like to build a desalination plant, but water policy experts have long discussed the possibility of using water from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the nearest sea to Arizona.

Some environmentalists opposed desalination because it’s energy intensive and can be harmful to sea creatures.

Even if lawmakers approve, the project would still be years in the making, but Bowers said Ducey and legislative leaders want to get started while the state has the money available.

“The plan is comprehensive and it’s broad, but all the details legally are going to need a lot of work,” he said. “That’s going to be our focus this year.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

110° | 81°
93° and clear

Arizona News

The Loop 101 freeway will be closed in both directions near Tatum Boulevard over three nights this ...

KTAR.com

Overnight Loop 101 closures near Tatum Boulevard to start Monday

Both directions of the Loop 101 in northeast Phoenix near Tatum Boulevard will be closed three nights for utility work starting Monday.

4 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

ktar.com

Weekend Wrap: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from June 14-16

From Arizona lawmakers passing a controversial bipartisan state budget to a fire blazing north of Fountain Hills, here are some of the biggest news stories in the Valley over the weekend.

6 hours ago

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north phoenix....

KTAR.com

Parking dispute leaves Phoenix man dead in overnight shooting

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north Phoenix.

7 hours ago

A 2-year-old girl died after falling into a backyard pool in Phoenix....

KTAR.com

2-year-old girl found dead in Phoenix backyard pool

Detectives are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a backyard pool on Saturday in Phoenix.

8 hours ago

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

KTAR.com

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

9 hours ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

KTAR.com

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona Gov. Ducey proposes $1 billion water plant during State of State address