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Fondomonte halts pumping Arizona groundwater in Butler Valley

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced this week that a controversial Saudi Arabian company has stopped using groundwater storage on some federal land it leases in western Arizona.

Last year, Hobbs and the Arizona Land Department canceled or nonrenewed Fondomonte Arizona's four leases on state-run trust land in the Butler Valley, a groundwater basin designated as a future water supply source for metro Phoenix. announced.

She said this week that an inspection of the land as of Feb. 15 found that Fondomonte was not using irrigation, and that “Fondomonte is beginning to take steps to vacate the land.”

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Arizona's water future,” Hobbs said in a statement. “I'm not afraid to hold people accountable, maximize the value of our national land trusts, and protect Arizona's water security.”

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