In 1980, the Arizona legislature enacted the Groundwater Management Act, or Groundwater Management Code. “In 1986, the Ford Foundation selected Arizona’s Groundwater Management Code as one of the 10 most innovative programs in state and local government. Passage of this hallmark legislation in 1980 was a major landmark in Arizona’s efforts to preserve its most vital natural resource.”
California’s groundwater use has been totally unregulated, with disputes about overuse settled in court. California is one of the few states where it’s “pump as you please” with groundwater. California is now the last Western state to enact a groundwater code. Drought-Stricken California Makes Historic Move To Regulate Underground Water For The First Time:
As the California State Legislature wrapped up their session, they passed the state’s first-ever plan to regulate underground water supplies. Urban Democrats, water district managers, and environmental advocates gave the measure enough support to pass it over the opposition of Republicans and farm-area legislators. The legislation now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
Clean Water Action’s Jennifer Clary said, “the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management legislation takes an historic first step towards ensuring that our groundwater will remain a resource for future Californians.”