Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has announced the revocation of drilling permits for new deep-water wells on land leased to a Saudi-owned company, saying that their approval eight months ago was “unconscionable” because the state is on the verge of a water crisis.
Fondomonte, which is owned by a major dairy company in Saudi Arabia, has been growing water-intensive alfalfa in Arizona for export in order to feed cows in the Middle East. It’s illegal to grow the crop in Saudi Arabia because it takes up too much water.
But anyone who buys or leases land in Arizona can, after putting in a well, pump unlimited amounts of water because there are no regulations limiting how much water can be extracted. That’s despite the fact that Arizona is facing cuts to its surface water supply from the Colorado River system, which is critically low….