On 21 March 2023, Arizona’s Senate passed Senate Bill 1660 to allow industrial facilities to treat wastewater onsite and receive long-term storage credit for recharging the treated effluent into underground aquifers. Still pending state house and governor approvals, the proposed legislation points to a growing divide between water sector stakeholders—utilities, industrials, residential users, and policymakers—and their approaches to water resource management.
Behind Senate Bill 1660 is Nestlé’s recently announced US$675 million investment to develop a coffee-creamer facility in Glendale, Arizona. The company intends to recycle wastewater and receive credits for underground water storage (i.e., recharging the local aquifer). The contentious proposal arrives at a time when Arizona faces severe cuts to its water supply allocations from the Colorado River.
In this Research Note:
- Multinationals put spotlight on competing stakeholders business models
- Slow pace of policy changes outpaced by corporate initiatives, climate pressure
- Arizona’s economic expansion parallels severe water risks