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House speaker's water bill likely dead this year

PHOENIX -- House speaker Andy Tobin has set up a special committee to try to address problems that have derailed a water bill he's crafted to deal with shortfalls across the state.

Tobin says the bill is likely dead this session and he'll rely on the four-member committee to fix the problems.

The four lawmakers will work former Arizona Department of Water Resources director with Herb Guenther to come up with a new bill. Guenther said Thursday the committee will begin public meetings in May and aim for a September finish.

Tobin crafted the bill creating new ``water augmentation authorities'' after a two-year study.

It ran into a buzz saw of opposition from ranchers and Yuma-area farmers. They worried it targeted their Colorado River water and the authorities had no oversight.

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