If you remember waaaay back in April, I posted about a new law that had just been passed by the Arizona legislature that would make it very difficult to establish in-stream flow rights in Arizona. At that point the bill was on its way to the governor's desk, where it would shortly be signed into law.
Well on Aug. 3 that new law went into effect and pretty soon Arizona Dept. of Water Resources had posted their guidance on implementing the law and a link to download the new in-stream flow application form. They can be found here.
Now you might think this would be pretty much a tempest in a teapot, after all the opportunities to appropriate surface water in Arizona are effectively pretty limited at present. And experience has shown that the most effective means of protecting in-stream flows around here are by having the most senior rights on the downstream end of the river system (see SRP).
But what this means is that our state government does not believe in the value of maintaining environmental flows in rivers (case in point) and wishes to protect existing "uses" of water from the threat of "non-users" or should I say "non-economic-benefit-providing users". And by economic benefit I of course mean the kind of economic benefits that flow to highly favored entities among our state legislature.