A SaddleBrooke Water Primer

By Bob Simpson

I. Welcome to the Desert

The area is in its 8 th year of drought. Groundwater levels have declined 50-70 feet in Oro Valley during the past ten years (probably 150 feet at the site where George Pusch established his Steam Pump in the early 1900s) and the town is requesting voluntary water conservation measures. In Tucson 's central well fields, T14S, R14E, measured groundwater declines are 225 to 250 feet since the 1940s. Lake Powell , a crucial storage reservoir for the Colorado River , has a white bathtub ring and is at half-capacity. The Arizona Geological Survey has released maps showing that Pinal County is one of the principal areas in Arizona where land subsidence, resulting from over-pumping of ground water, has resulted in thousands of earth fissures – cracks that can damage highways, canals, homes and other infrastructure. Some agricultural land in the Eloy area has sunk 18-20 feet. And now the talk is of global warming.

So, how secure should we feel about living in SaddleBrooke? When I purchased a home here in 2003, I was told that our water supply is from a strong aquifer–one of the few in the state that showed recent rising water levels. (I was also told that our views were protected by surrounding state trust lands which would never be sold!). Recently, I set out to learn more about local water and, most importantly, its future availability. However, I quickly learned that water is not just a local issue.

The economic viability of the entire Tucson area will depend on slowing, and ultimately stopping, the mining of groundwater. A key will be the increased use of renewable water. That goal is embodied in a 1980 Arizona law, but its achievement is doubtful in the view of many experts. Moreover, regulations under the Law allow for depletion of underground water over a 100 year period to a depth of 1000 feet in areas like SaddleBrooke which have no planned access to renewable water. Whether or not this occurs will depend on further reforms in state and local water resource and land use laws, on the settlement of pending Indian water claims, on the individual and joint actions of the seven basin states that share the Colorado River, and, possibly, on global climate change.

This primer attempts to present, in a simplified, but accurate way, what I think most SaddleBrooke residents should know about water, and how water issues may affect their futures here. I have excluded discussion of many issues that affect primarily other parts of the state, which were less affected by Arizona's landmark 1980 Groundwater Management Act.

II. Arizona's Progressive Water Law

In a 2007 Arizona Law Review article (Vol. 49, No. 2), University of Arizona Professor Sharon Megdal , and co-authors gave a brief history of Arizona 's principal water statute as follows:

In the late 1970s, a number of forces coalesced to produce the perfect scenario for overhauling Arizona 's antiquated groundwater law. The chronic overdrafting of the state's reserves posed a threat to the state's economic well-being. Secretary of State Cecil Andrus threatened the state with loss of funding for construction of the CAP [Central Arizona Project] unless the state reformed its groundwater law. And the Arizona Supreme Court threatened to prohibit any transportation of water off the overlying land, something mines and major cities had come to depend on.

The 1980 Groundwater Management Act (GMA) was truly progressive. The GMA established a system of quantified rights for all existing groundwater users within Active Management Areas (AMAs), made most rights transferable, restricted initiating most new groundwater uses within AMAs, established strong management by the Department of Water Resources [ADWR], and required conservation programs.

Since the GMA was enacted, other players have become more involved in the management of Arizona 's water. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has restricted water use in specific sensitive locations. Locally, following protracted controversy over possible groundwater contamination risks, ADEQ approval had to be obtained for a plan to cap the Page-Trowbridge radioactive/chemical waste site located adjacent to the current SaddleBrooke Ranch (SBR) development. The Arizona Corporations Commission has prohibited, or placed restrictions, on providing water to irrigate future golf courses in the course of awarding or extending certificates of necessity and convenience (CC&Ns) see e.g., Decision Number 69163 of Dec 5, 2006. Private environmental and other organizations are supporting legislation, and/or bringing court cases, to protect water supplies. Recently, for example, the State Legislature passed HB 2300 establishing an organizing committee to prepare election plans for a special water district for the upper San Pedro Groundwater Basin. The San Pedro, threatened by development, is southern Arizona 's last continuously flowing river and a crucial riparian habitat area and bird migration corridor.

These are only a few examples of the broader context within which water could be viewed. For SaddleBrooke, however, the role of the ADWR, through its oversight of the Tucson Active Management Area (TAMA), is key.

III. Tucson Active Management Area

Arizona has five active management areas: Santa Cruz , Tucson , Pinal, Phoenix and Prescott . SaddleBrooke is located in the TAMA which covers 3,800 square miles and extends from the Mexican border north to the Falcon Valley and Oracle. The TAMA has an overriding statutory goal of achieving Safe Yield by the year 2025. Safe yield means that the amount of groundwater pumped in the AMA does not exceed the amount of natural and artificial recharge on an annual average basis.

TAMA has two primary regulatory mechanisms governing “new water”:

Permitting new wells. For non-exempt wells (wells producing more than 35 gallons per minute) TAMA administers well spacing requirements to address: “three types of unreasonably increasing damage: (1) additional drawdown of water levels at neighboring wells of record; (2) additional regional land subsidence; and (3) migration of contaminated groundwater to a well of record.” It also administers well construction standards. These regulations involve fairly extensive and complex guidelines and will not be presented here. The lighter statutory requirements for the regulation of exempt wells have been criticized. However, outside of active management areas, such wells are largely unregulated.

Assured Water Supply Certificates. Under Arizona law, new residential developments located in an AMA cannot be platted unless the developer has obtained a Certificate of Assured Water Supply (AWS) from the AMA. Among the five statutory criteria for qualification is demonstrating the “physical, legal and continuous availability of the water supply for 100 years”. In assessing continuous availability, well water levels must be maintained no lower than 1,000 feet below the surface. Such demonstrations are usually made by hydrologists hired by the developer and based on area hydrologic data, or are satisfied by a contract to procure water from a supplier who can demonstrate this capability. Demand estimates are calculated at full build-out, with different criteria and formulas applied by the AMA for residential units, golf courses, common landscaping areas, commercial units, etc.

Since a 1995 strengthening of AWS Rules, applicants must also demonstrate the use of renewable water supplies, rather than groundwater, to meet most of the demand of the development for 100 years. However, recognizing that sufficient renewable sources may not be available at the location of the development, an AMA permits this requirement to be met if the developer becomes a member of the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD). The CAGRD, a quasi-government entity, describes its role, in part, as follows:

Development … is not necessarily stymied for those landowners and water providers who have no direct access to CAP water or other renewable supplies. If a water provider or a landowner has access to groundwater and desires to rely exclusively on groundwater to demonstrate a 100 year water supply, it may do so, provided it joins the CAGRD. As a member of the CAGRD, the landowner or provider must pay the CAGRD to replenish any groundwater pumped by the member which exceeds the pumping limitations imposed by the AWS Rules.

Replenishment means that the CAGRD recharges somewhere in the same AMA the amount of renewable water needed to offset most (currently about 90%. of the groundwater that the developer will be pumping for 100 years. In other words, an AMA's rules aim at achievement of Safe Yield on a basin-wide basis. This flexibility is crucial. It enables new large residential developments to rely almost solely on the pumping of groundwater which could, over the years, result in significant drops in local water tables. CAGRD could be recharging (replacement) renewable water elsewhere in the basin. As we will see, this has important implications for SaddleBrooke.

To illustrate how TAMA's rules work, we may look at SaddleBrooke Ranch (SBR), which is being developed under current TAMA rules and procedures. On February 6, 2003, the ADWR issued a Certificate of Assured Water Supply to Robson Ranch Mountain , L.L.C. for the SBR development. The certificate was based, in part, on the following information which I have selected from the developer's application and the TAMA final approval:

Number of lots 5,619

Golf three eighteen hole courses, three clubhouses

Other 50 room hotel resort

Other shopping center

Water provider Arizona Water Company-SaddleBrooke

Sewage utility provider Mountain Pass Utility Co.

Type of water delivered groundwater and treated effluent

Consistency with Management Goal CAGRD enrollment 9/19/2000

Total Water Demand, Acre Feet/Year (AF/yr):

Residential 1210.58

Non-residential 1510.25

Construction 1.72

Lost+Unaccounted 269.26

TOTAL/YEAR 2991.81

Total 100 Year Demand 265,457 AF

Basic Groundwater Allowance 23,934.48AF (groundwater that may be “mined”)

Percentage of demand that must be replaced by renewable sources (CAGRD + effluent) 23,934.48 divided by 265,457 equals 90%.

Thus, SBR will be supplied almost entirely by new groundwater, with CAGRD recharging in a distant location (e.g., Avra Valley) just under 90% (85% if effluent provides 5% of SBR demand) of the total 100 year usage.

To further illustrate the flexibility of AMA rules, the SBR golf course now open is being irrigated by a “recovery well.” This means that the groundwater being pumped is not being recorded against the Ranch's groundwater allowance, but rather against credits that the developer has obtained by recharging effluent elsewhere in the TAMA. Also, because Arizona Water Company-SaddleBrooke is “new” (it was incorporated separately by the existing Arizona Water Company, which serves Oracle) it will be held by TAMA to lower conservation standards until it qualifies as a “large municipal supplier” by serving at least 560 residential units at SaddleBrooke Ranch.

Finally, it should be noted that in becoming a member of the CAGRD the developer has elected the common practice of having the homeowners of the development pay for groundwater replenishment. Thus, future residents of SaddleBrooke Ranch will pay in their annual Pinal County Real Estate Tax bills an amount which can be expected to escalate over the years as both the quantity of replenishment and the cost of replacement water increase. This will be in addition to the ad valorem (per $100 of property value) that all property owners in Pinal, Maricopa and Pima counties now pay to amortize the financing of the Central Arizona Project (CAP). SaddleBrooke property owners now find this item on their Pinal real estate tax as “Central Arizona Water Conservation”.

IV. Where Will Renewable Water Come From? The CARGD and the CAP

In 1922 the seven basin states of the Colorado River and the federal government negotiated the Colorado River Compact which divided the states into upper and lower basins, and apportioned 7.5 million acre feet of water annually for each basin. Arizona was the last to sign the Compact and obtained 2.8 million AF compared to California 's 4.4 million. After 22 years of lobbying, Arizona obtained Congressional approval for federal funding of parts of the construction project. Construction was begun in 1973 at Havasu on a canal system that today brings water 336 miles to a terminus 14 miles south of Tucson . The entire project cost was about $4 billion and water is allocated to municipal, agricultural, mining, and certain Indian community users (12 tribes have allocations).

The major source for recharging water within the TAMA is the CAP canal system which conducts about half of the total amount of Colorado River water allocated to Arizona to certain agricultural and urban users in central and southern Arizona . The other half goes to users along the River such as the Colorado River Indian Reservation and the Gila Project (agricultural irrigation districts). Tucson is at the end of the CAP canal. The City and other local holders of CAP allocations are recharging CAP water in the Marana/Avra Valley area [Ed. Note: a separate basin from the Tucson Basin] South Tucson . Combined with other factors such as the purchase and retirement of farmland and recharging effluent into the Santa Cruz River bed, groundwater levels in certain locations have made some recent recovery – e.g., a rise of 50-70 feet in the Marana area. However, depth to water is still 200-300 feet in these locations.

Unfortunately, CAP water as it is now allocated is almost certainly not going to be sufficient to meet CAGRD's growing replenishment requirements as build-out occurs in new developments and other basin states' demands on the River increase. Although it has the largest allocation, CAP enjoys the lowest priority (4 th ) of any Arizona user.

The ADWR website describes gives its overview of the situation, in part, as follows:

Of the 7.5 million acre-feet of water available to the Lower Basin states of California , Arizona and Nevada , Arizona 's Priority 4 (post 1968) contractors, including the Central Arizona Project, have a junior priority. If water supplies are below normal, water deliveries to Arizona 's Priority 4 contractors will be reduced by the Secretary of the Interior, in an amount that depends upon the overall reduced water storage in Lake Mead .  The Central Arizona Project is expected to take a large portion of the reductions, which are expected to total between 400,000 and 600,000 acre-feet, and possibly more.

When the Colorado River Compact was negotiated, average annual flows were estimated to be about 18 million acre-feet. Today a more accurate flow estimate is about 16.3 million acre-feet, however total Colorado River allocations, including the Mexican Treaty obligation, total 16.5 million acre-feet. Annual flows are highly variable ranging from a low of 6.3 million acre-feet to a high of 27 million acre-feet. Concern over possible long-term water supply shortages has resulted in studies regarding water supply augmentation of the Colorado River by increasing system delivery and operational efficiencies, importation, weather modification, and vegetation management. Other methods of augmentation such as desalinization of seawater or brackish water continue to be evaluated, but these methods have relatively high costs making them less feasible.

A further threat to CAGRD's future access to CAP water is posed by certain long-unresolved Indian water claims. For example, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 27, 2007, carried an article stating , “ Based on a 1908 Supreme Court decision, tribes hold water rights that date to the creation of their reservations. That would give the Navajos high priority for water in Arizona or New Mexico and could allow the tribe, with a court victory, to disrupt the entire Colorado River.”

V. Other Sources of Water

Facing a likely long term declining supply of CAP water, what other sources of water might southern Arizona turn to?

Conservation is the equivalent of finding renewable water. Switching to a more efficient irrigation system, or installing a low flow bathroom shower head are examples of the many permanent changes homeowners can make that reduce water usage every year. In our region, TAMA has rules for municipal water suppliers to reduce per capita water consumption, or alternatively, adhere to “best management practices” to achieve conservation. Farmers have been subject to non-expansion of irrigated acreage requirements, and limited phased reductions of groundwater use per acre. Farmers must have meters on their wells and report usage, while remaining free to decide whether to plant lower water requirement crops, use water-saving irrigation techniques, etc.

Agriculture represents a large factor in Southern Arizona 's water picture. State-wide, it accounts for 75% of total water consumption, and in the TAMA, 26%. In a free economy, economic theory holds that resources eventually flow to their “highest and best use”. Urban users can afford to pay much more for a gallon of water than the value farmers can derive from it, even with federal subsidy programs—e.g., for cotton, corn and dairy products. 1 In the 1970s the City of Tucson purchased some 10,000 acres of farmland in the TAMA for water benefits. In California , a complex arrangement has been approved by the legislature whereby California will reduce its dependence on the Colorado River, and the Imperial Irrigation District will transfer agricultural water to the City of San Diego with payments to Imperial Valley farmers for the diverted water. It is noteworthy that agricultural users of CAP water in Arizona have lower priority, and will presumably bear the initial brunt of any necessary future CAP cutbacks.

Effluent use is growing in the TAMA as output rises with population growth. Most is used for golf course irrigation and aquifer recharging. But, according to the draft 2005 Tucson AMA Water Budget, effluent is expected to supply only 15% of municipal demand by 2025. For 2005, the Lago del Oro Water Co. reported that effluent accounted for only 9% of its total water sold.

Other approaches such as water harvesting have limited scope or have “robbing Peter to pay Paul” implications. If you “harvest” water in one area, it does not flow elsewhere. [Ed. Note: In Tucson municipal area, there aren't any storm sewers to collect storm water. It's questionable how much rain water flows to a place that it will soak down 300 ft. to groundwater levels to replenish the basin.]

VI. SaddleBrooke: What Is Our Future?

1. Our Water Supplier. Saddle Brooke currently depends on water obtained from the Lago del Oro Water Company, a “large municipal supplier” regulated by TAMA and other agencies. The company was purchased by the Robson organization and now has 16 wells serving both SaddleBrooke and some Catalina residential and commercial customers. Its 20 year demand projections are for 7,539 dwelling units and 3,969 AF of water annually. In 2005 Lago paid to the ADWR $8,031.57 in groundwater withdrawal fees ($3.00 per acre foot) which are used for storage of water by the Arizona Water Banking Authority ($2.50 per AF), and for water management assistance by the TAMA ($0.50 per AF). Lago has not recently been reporting depth to water in its wells. According to a company official, this is because its wells are being pumped so heavily that reliable static water level readings cannot be obtained. In May, 2006, Lago received permission to “enlarge” an existing well to a depth of 1,340 feet.

Limited evidence of water level stability is reflected in measurements of one index well in the area, and recent reports to TAMA by the Arizona Water Company on one well in the Oracle Junction area. This latter well had November depth-to-water measurements of 345 feet in 2003 and 344 feet in 2005. Spring measurements were 342 feet for all three years, 2003-2005.

Lago Water may come under increased water conservation requirements as the TAMA implements its Third Five Year Management Plan and works toward its Safe Yield objective. Lago has succeeded in reducing its “lost and unaccounted for” water to below the 10% target set by TAMA. However, unlike some other large municipal suppliers, it has no pro-active programs to encourage water conservation by residents.

2. Our Future Water Supply Lago del Oro's wells pump water from deep alluvial structures that receive varying amounts of annual recharge, depending almost entirely on precipitation. Historically, there have been two sources of recharge.

Falcon Valley . The smaller source has been “underflow” from the Falcon Valley , north of SaddleBrooke that has been compared to a bowl with only one outlet. The outlet is between the Tortalita and Catalina mountains, and out of it water surplus to the Valley's withdrawals has historically flowed underground through Oracle Junction and on south under SaddleBrooke and Catalina to Oro Valley . In 2001 a Water Roundtable was held at Biosphere to assess the known facts about the basin “surrounded by the Catalina Mountains , the Tortalita Mountains , the Black Hills, and the Oracle Divide” (ie, “ Falcon Valley”). Participants included officials of the ADWR, and the TAMA, as well as private hydrologists, geologists and other private interests, including Robson Communities and the Arizona Water Company. A transcript is available on the internet (sustainableprosperity.org), but no consensus findings emerged, and the lack of hydrologic data was clearly an issue.

State hydrologic studies have continued and a groundwater modeling report issued in 2006 estimated groundwater outflow from Falcon Valley to be relatively small, probably about 500 AF/yr. 2 In 2006, SBR pumped 700 acre feet for its new golf course, a new withdrawal that alone exceeds the estimated Falcon Valley outflow. New withdrawals in the Valley may increase to an estimated 3,000 AF/yr at build-out for SBR, and to an additional 2,875 AF/yr at build-out for the Willow Springs development (see Appendix). Since these amounts are far in excess of the annual surplus of recharged underground water that has flowed out of Falcon Valley , the Valley will experience declining water tables in the future.

The rate of decline is difficult to predict. Water moves very slowly and it may take many years for the effects of a new major well to spread widely. More importantly, the total volume of water stored in the Valley is difficult to estimate because most of the land is undeveloped and there are few wells from which water table levels can be determined. A further unknown is whether an initial drop in the Valley water table could trigger at least a temporary reversal of water flow?ie, a flow of groundwater from the greater SaddleBrooke area back into Falcon Valley . In this event, housing developments in Falcon Valley could have an enhanced impact on Lago del Oro wells.

Direct Mountain and Local Recharge . Preliminary ADWR modeling results indicate that the southward groundwater underflow measured 1-2 miles south of the Pinal-Pima County line, slightly south of most, if not all, of Lago del Oro's wells, was about 3,800 AF/year in 1940. Since this far exceeds the estimated 500 AF/yr that historically came from Falcon Valley , this indicates that the primary source of groundwater in the Saddle Brook area is recharge off the Tortolita and Santa Catalina Mountains . The model results also indicated a slight decrease in groundwater flow during the study period, 1940 to 1999, from 3,800 AF/yr to about 3,300 AF/yr. by the late 1990s. It is reasonable to conclude that the decline in underflow is continuing as local pumpage increases. In the greater SaddleBrooke area (Townships 8 to 11 and Ranges 13 & 14), including the Town of Oro Valley, total underground water pumpage has increased from 5,823 AF in 2000, to 8,640 AF in 2006 – a 48% rise. Lago Water accounted for 2,895 AF, or 34% of 2006 pumpage.


1. SaddleBrooke's Water Future Will Depend on Regional Developments. It is becoming clear that the Active Management Areas, created under the 1980 GMA, do not have the mandate or authorities required to protect the water supplies of many communities and residents within their boundaries. Pima County is now receiving public comment on a proposed amendment of its Comprehensive Plan to integrate land use and water resource planning. [This amendment has been passed.] A County report providing background for the amendment describes the impact of the deficiencies of current water resource planning in terms that appear relevant to communities such as SaddleBrooke:

In recent years, the number of Member Lands in the northern portion of the AMA, straddling the Pima-Pinal border. has increased … All of these areas are hydraulically isolated from the recharge being done on their behalf elsewhere in the basin. This means that the groundwater being withdrawn from the aquifer by these subdivisions is not being replaced in a way that will eventually give the subdivisions access to the replenished water. The groundwater tables under these subdivisions will continue to fall, in some cases precipitously, until the detrimental effects of groundwater pumping threaten the economic stability, environment and infrastructure of the community. Many of these areas are so remote from renewable supplies that the capital investment and operations costs of delivering renewable supplies are orders of magnitude beyond the capacity of residents.

The Report further notes that “Reducing groundwater levels by much less than 1,000 feet could likely cause significant problems with subsidence and water quality. The physical, environmental and economic costs would be so great that it is unlikely that water providers would actually draw aquifers down this low.

The Report cites the experience of communities, which, unlike SaddleBrooke, have CAP allocations and are already taking measures to try to address serious water depletion problems:

OroValley, Marana and Flowing Wells Irrigation District, have realized that the state regulated system does not provide a sustainable future for their customers. All of the areas have experienced water level declines and realize that delivering renewable water is the only sustainable path. The capital investment for extending the CAP to these providers is estimated to cost between $97 and $182 million, depending on the treatment system used.

2. The Pinal County Plan Update Could Significantly Impact SaddleBrooke. Pinal County is currently developing an update to its Comprehensive Plan which “will be the county's document to manage and direct future growth and development…” Because of the rapid northward expansion of development along Oracle Highway into our area of Pinal County and Falcon Valley , we in SaddleBrooke should make every effort to ensure that Pinal County adopts provisions to integrate land use and water resource policy as Pima County proposes to do. This would mean that the County could restrict any future large water using developments to those that did not threaten the well being of existing residents or the ecological and environmental assets of the County.

3. Monitoring Well Water Levels is Important. The crucial issue for SaddleBrooke is increased groundwater pumpage in the surrounding area. Hydrologic data for our northeastern section of the TAMA are inadequate and modeling cannot accurately predict when or how much further area pumping will draw down water tables. Monitoring local water levels in wells appears to be the only warning device available. However, because underground water moves very slowly, the ultimate impact of new wells on an aquifer may not be detected for years.

4. State Trust Lands Pose An Issue. As SaddleBrooke's experience with the neighboring Eagle Crest is demonstrating, State Constitutional provisions requiring the disposition of State trust lands at their highest value (to support public education [Ed. Note: Wonder why AZ schools don't improve with high land costs? An equal amount of money is subtracted from the state educational budget for every dollar put in from State trust land sales—so the educational budget stays the same.] poses not only a threat to ecological and aesthetic values, but to the depletion of local aquifers. A glance at a map indicates that more than 90% of Falcon Valley is Trust land as is almost all of the land surrounding SaddleBrooke to the north and west to the Tortalitas. Although the integration of water resource and land use policy in county plans as discussed above could reduce the demand for Trust land development inconsistent with County goals, this is by no means assured. SaddleBrooke residents should therefore consider actively supporting Governor Napolitano's efforts to bring about an amendment of the Constitution to permit the State Legislature to determine the requirements for the disposition of Trust lands.

It is hoped that this presentation for SaddleBrooke residents will heighten awareness of water as the underpinning of our long term well-being in this community, and encourage not only conservation, but consideration of policy measures to preserve this desert land for ourselves and for generations to come.

Bob Simpson

October, 2007



Willow Springs

Willow Springs, located in Falcon Valley near the Black Mountains , is the site of a proposed community of Willow Springs Properties, LLC. Initially proposed as a large development (a projected population of as much as 80,000 persons according to some sources), it was rejected by Pinal County and the developers were advised to reapply on a unit-by-unit basis. A recent pre-application for two units of “Willow Springs South” totals 1,038 lots. It is not clear how many lots the developers may ultimately seek. Their current application to TAMA requests an AWS certificate totaling 2,875 AF/yr (see public notices in Arizona Star June 12 & 19, 2007). This is about the same amount of water projected to be used by SBR (see above) which foresees 5,619 lots, three golf courses and other amenities. However, the Willow Springs application for an AWS (Assured Water Supply) includes only one golf course and one school.

According to TAMA, no objections were received in the fifteen days following public notice of the Willow Springs application. In 2004 a hydrologic analysis was submitted supporting an Assured Water Supply for 4,350 AF/yr for the larger development then planned. The current scaled-back request is, therefore, likely to be granted by TAMA. The developer must still work out arrangements with the Fish and Wildlife service for wildlife protection, with the state for constructing a 5 mile road to state standards to access the development, and with the County.


1 Corn has a direct subsidy program, but production is now stimulated primarily by Federal subsidies for ethanol production. Programs to maintain high prices for dairy products increase the demand for alfalfa in Arizona . By restricting imports of cotton, the US Government maintains domestic prices that are often double world cotton prices.

2 Modeling studies of this nature, primarily because of data deficiencies, are subject to substantial margins of error – 30 to 40% in the judgment of some analysts.

Bob Simpson has been a full-time resident of SaddleBrooke for two years.  He is a retired foreign-service officer who specialized in economic, commercial and agricultural affairs. His overseas service includes Japan , Madagascar and Switzerland . He has a masters degree in agricultural economics from Oregon State University , and a bachelors in that field from the University of California at Davis .

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