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Regarding Jan.16 story “UA Study: Pinal among top agricultural counties in nation”: At last Monday’s State of the State address, Gov. Doug Ducey made a valiant effort to convince legislators to immediately approve a drought contingency plan, which must be approved by Jan. 31 to avoid federal intervention.  

Major focus is on the Colorado River, which supplies 40 percent of Arizona’s water and has been over-used to the point where reservoirs at Lake Mead and Lake Powell are severely threatened.  

A sticking point is the plan’s projected impact on nearby Pinal County, a major agricultural producer.  The plan as presented last Monday places the county in line for immediate drastic cuts. While I empathize with the farm owners, drastic steps are clearly needed to conserve our precious water supply.  

A suggestion: Cotton, the growth of which requires very high water consumption, constitutes a significant portion of Pinal County’s farm production. Significantly, much of our nation’s cotton is grown in regions of Texas with abundant rainfall.  In terms of conservation, it might make sense for Pinal County’s farmers to curtail cotton production in favor of crops more suited to our desert environment.

—John Newport, 

Oro Valley



Regarding Jan. 16 stories “UA Study: Pinal among top agricultural counties in nation” and “Tohono Chul exhibition looks at the beauty and blight of Arizona copper”: I was sorry to see in the article on Tohono Chul’s copper state exhibition the references to Rosemont Mine, all negative.

In an otherwise interesting story the writer chose to editorialize on a controversial subject. I won’t go into aspects regarding employment, contribution to the economy, etc. of mining versus visual impact and water use, but found it ironic that in the paper’s feature article agriculture is lauded, including cotton farming, which is a heavy water user & involves degradation of the desert. 

It would be interesting to compare benefits of each to the financial well being of the state.

—Patricia Ridinger, Tucson

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