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Arizonans Want State Leaders to Take Action to Protect Vital Groundwater Supplies

May 17, 2024
Three-quarters (74%) of Arizona voters support action by Arizona’s governor if the state legislature does not enable rural communities to regulate their groundwater

Washington D.C. - A poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Walton Family Foundation shows almost 9 in 10 voters (88%) are concerned about groundwater supplies in Arizona and believe that limiting unregulated groundwater pumping should be a priority for the state. Almost three-quarters (74%) think the Governor should use existing laws to manage rural groundwater if the Arizona State Legislature fails to enable rural communities to regulate their own groundwater.

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Mark Shields
Senior Communications Officer

Only 34% of Arizonans believe the state will have enough water to support its population in 15 years. Only 13% believe Arizona will have enough water in 50 years. Almost all (92%) of voters say that Arizona needs to prioritize the health of rivers and streams to address Arizona's drought and decreasing groundwater supplies.

“Arizonans are saying loud and clear they want the state to take more action to protect its vital rivers and streams, regulate groundwater pumping and recognize the rights of Tribal Nations,” said Moira Mcdonald, Environment Program Director of the Walton Family Foundation. “Arizonans are looking for bold action to ensure there is enough water in the state now and for future generations.”

Other key findings from the poll include: 

  • There is consensus among Arizonans that drought and water shortages (87%) and lowering water levels in the Colorado River (84%) are serious issues for the state. 
  • 85% of Arizonans believe that new urban developments should be required to prove they have a 100-year water supply. 
  • Arizonans overwhelmingly support the needs of Tribal Nations. Almost 9 in 10 (88%) voters believe Tribal nations deserve to have their water rights recognized by state and federal governments. Three in four (76%) say tribes should be able to access all the water on their land. 
  • 80% agree urgent action is needed and Arizona should invest now in groundwater management to safeguard our water resources. 
  • 92% say funding the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Arizona Department of Water Resources should be a priority for the state. 

Polling Methodology:

This poll was conducted between May 3-May 8, 2024 among a sample of 800 registered voters in Arizona. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters in Arizona based on gender by age, educational attainment, race, marital status, home ownership, race by educational attainment, and 2020 presidential vote. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Additional analysis was provided by Beck Research.

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.