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Published on April 17, 2024
Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego Calls on Dairy Giant for Sustainable Water Practices in WillcoxSource: Google Street View

Arizona congressman Ruben Gallego has put a dairy giant on blast, demanding that it becomes a better guardian of the state's precious water resources. In a stern letter addressed to Riverview, LLP, Gallego, representing Arizona's 3rd congressional district, has called out the company for its water management practices at its massive dairy farm near Willcox, which sprawls across 51,000 acres. The demand comes on the heels of rising anxiety among Cochise County residents who are worried sick over the depletion of the Douglas and Willcox groundwater basins, concerns that were brought to light during a town hall meeting with Attorney General Kris Mayes.

According to Gallego's office, the congressman urged Riverview to reflect on its operations and “pursue any possible improvements” to secure the longevity of water supplies in the region, not just for the company, but for the local community as a whole. The letter, which was made public on the congressman's website, posed pointed questions to the Minnesota-based firm about the measures it's taking to conserve water, its collaboration with local and state authorities on solutions, and how it plans to address the residents' concerns regarding the company’s water usage.

Putting his track record on display, Gallego flaunted his leadership around congressional efforts involving smart water technologies, hinting at the potential for such innovations in Riverview's operations. Gallego emphasized Arizona's agricultural community's advancement in water conservation and innovation, challenging Riverview to join this legacy by prioritizing efficient groundwater use in its facilities.

A champion for rural groundwater, Gallego has previously introduced legislation aiming to prevent the misuse of water resources, aptly named the Domestic Water Protection Act. His pitched battle against the abuse of water has been especially targeted at safeguarding against foreign entities that may exploit Arizona's drought-prone environment. "I encourage you to prioritize efficient groundwater use in your facilities moving forward," Gallego writes in the letter, "The water supply and long-term growth of the region may depend on it."