By Ian James ¦ Arizona Republic
Proposed water legislation that might have upended Arizona’s Colorado River drought plan was set aside by a leading Republican lawmaker following a day of tense debate.
The dispute over the bill pitted House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who introduced the measure on behalf of a group of farmers and ranchers, against the Gila River Indian Community, whose leader threatened to pull out of the drought deal if the bill went forward.
Bowers’ decision to yank the bill from consideration on Tuesday appears to clear the path for Arizona to take a series of steps to finish its piece of the Drought Contingency Plan, which involves taking less water out of Lake Mead to prevent the reservoir from falling to critically low levels.
But even with what had seemed a difficult snag