Ruben Gallego introduces bill to curb foreign water use in Arizona

Sep 5, 2023, 8:00 AM | Updated: 8:02 am

A hose from John Hornewers tanker fills up Britney Kellums in-ground water tank in a home shes rent...

A hose from John Hornewers tanker fills up Britney Kellums in-ground water tank in a home shes renting in Rio Verde Foothills, Arizona, U.S. on January 7, 2023.

PHOENIX – U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego believes Arizona’s water and crops should stay in the state – instead of flying off to Saudi Arabia. To safeguard the Copper State’s water supply, he filed the Domestic Water Protection Act of 2023 last week.

“No longer should foreign governments and companies be given sweetheart deals that leave Arizonans worse off,” Gallego said in a press release. “I’m proud to lead the Domestic Water Protection Act to stop these entities from stealing our state’s water.”

If passed, the Domestic Water Protection Act of 2023 would apply a 300% excise tax to the sale and export of water-intensive crops foreign interests grow in areas that have experienced a prolonged drought.

Proceeds from that tax would go to a trust fund to finance drought response and resilience initiatives.

Does the Domestic Water Protection Act of 2023 sound familiar?

This isn’t the first time Gallego has tried to pass legislation to protect Arizona’s domestic water interests.

Last year, he filed the Domestic Water Protection Act of 2022.

However, it was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means in Oct. 2022. It didn’t get a hearing and therefore died in committee.

Gallego’s second attempt to hold foreign growers accountable earned Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes’ approval.

“This proposed federal bill would be a huge step forward,” Mayes said on social media. “However, the state of Arizona should use its existing authority to ensure Arizona’s sustainable water future now.”

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Ruben Gallego introduces bill to curb foreign water use in Arizona