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Central Arizona farmers seek $20 million for drought plan

Posted at 6:51 AM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 09:51:18-04

PHOENIX (AP) - Central Arizona farmers are making a last-minute plea to state lawmakers to give them millions of dollars to dig wells and build canals as they prepare to lose access to Colorado River water.

Farmers from Pinal County are scheduled to make their $20 million pitch during a news conference at the state Capitol on Thursday as lawmakers negotiate a budget.

They have the lowest-priority access to water from the drought-stricken river and will face the most drastic cuts from a seven-state plan to protect water supplies.

Lawmakers have already committed $9 million to help Pinal County farmers transition to groundwater. The farmers are asking the state for $20 million more, which they hope would be repaid in the future by the federal government.