Protect Arizona's Water Future
Keep our water affordable, safe, and reliable
Educate and engage the public on pressing water needs
Plan ahead to ensure Arizona's Water Future
About My Campaign
The Ben Graff for CAWCD team is focused on a full Maricopa County-wide campaign aimed at educating the public on the Arizona's water issues and the challenges we will face. Maricopa County is unique, diverse, and enormous. Did you know running a Maricopa County-wide election is the same as running for Governor in Oregon? This is a non-partisan race decided on November 8, however, early ballots will start arriving in mailboxes as early as October 13, 2016. I am an Arizona native, land-use attorney, a husband, and the father of two young girls who must be able to live in a future Arizona with a safe, secure, and affordable water supply. My central theme is to "Protect Arizona's Water Future." My platform includes:
(1) Water Consciousness and Conservation: We need more elected leaders traveling the County and state educating the public on Arizona's water issues and what we must do to avoid cuts and losing our state's water rights. Arizona needs leaders who will support and continue the work of the CAP/CAWCD Board campaign to "Protect Lake Mead!" through innovative conservation efforts which start with the every day decisions of our citizens. Once elected to this six-year term and in coordination with Board Leadership, I plan to have ongoing meetings with the public and interest groups to spread water education and prepare Arizona for some of the tough, upcoming decisions on conservation efforts aimed at avoiding water cuts.
(2) Water As An Economic Driver: In Arizona, and in most states nationwide, water is our most precious resource and the most important economic driver. Our state's agriculture, municipalities, manufacturing/industrial uses, and businesses all rely upon a safe, secured, and reliable water supply and companies seeking to relocate to Arizona must be guaranteed a permanent water supply. For example, Intel, which needs ongoing high-quality water to clean its microchips, would not have located in Chandler, Arizona if our water supplies were in question. On the other hand, when was the last time a company in need of a safe water supply looked to relocate in Michigan after the Flint incident? A single water crisis in Arizona could negatively impact economic growth for decades to come. I will work on creative and innovative solutions to promote strong economic growth assured by Arizona's stable water supply.
(3) Sensitive Negotiations with California to Protect Our Water: Today, Arizona has the most junior rights to Colorado River water essentially making it possible for California, in an unending drought, to take every drop of Colorado River water for themselves while our canal system runs dry. I will not, however, allow this to happen and we must continue to protect Arizona's water rights. Currently, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board are negotiating new terms in which California would agree to share in the cuts of Colorado River supply in order to protect the river and ensure overall and equitable distribution of water. We need seasoned and educated negotiators at the table for these discussions and my experiences as a land-use attorney and an Arizona native put me at the top of the list of qualified candidates.
(4) Energy: To enter into a discussion of Arizona's Water Future requires us to also engage in the complex discussion of the need for diverse sources of electrical generation. The Central Arizona Project canal system is Arizona's single largest user of electricity. With pumping stations literally dragging water uphill for over 336 miles and 3000 feet in elevation, an incredible amount of electricity is required to bring Colorado River water to our municipalities and ultimately to your tap. This energy, however, is almost 100% dependent upon the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired plant which may fall out of line with federal and state environmental rules. I will be a member of the Board who works diligently to find alternative sources of energy while consciously working on a smooth energy transition plan which does not negatively impact the Navajo community.