Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act (GMA) requires regulation of agricultural irrigation water users within five Active Management Areas (AMAs). Non-expansion is one of the GMA’s key components; this provision limits irrigated farmland to those lands that were legally irrigated between 1975 and 1980.
Additionally, agricultural water conservation programs were established in each management plan. The default conservation program (Base Program) has been in place since the First Management Plan. The Base Program assigns irrigation water allotments based on the consumptive use of crops grown between 1975 and 1980, multiplied by an assigned irrigation efficiency. The first modification to the Third Management Plan (2003) created an innovative Best Management Practices (BMP) Program as a voluntary alternative to the Base Program.
The Arizona Agricultural Best Management Practices Committee was established in 1998 by Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S) § 49-457 to research and adopt best management practices (BMPs) for agricultural operations that generate dust. The BMPs are designed to reduce emissions of particulate matter of 10 microns or smaller (PM10) in the Maricopa County Serious PM10 non-attainment area. Periodically the Committee reexamines the BMPs to review effectiveness, modifies them, if necessary, or adopts new measures.
A cabinet-level statewide agency that regulates and supports Arizona agriculture in a manner that encourages farming, ranching, and agribusiness while protecting consumers and natural resources. It consists of three main divisions: Animal Services, Environmental Services, and Plant Services; and includes a State Agricultural Laboratory; a Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Standardization and Fresh Produce Grade Inspection program; and an Agricultural Consultation and Training program.