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YUMA, Ariz. -- A special state House panel is beginning a series of meetings across the state on water issues, including the possible establishment of authorities to buy and sell water.

According to the Yuma Sun, the committee will meet Friday in Yuma and later in Sierra Vista, Flagstaff, Prescott and Payson. Then the committee will meet in Phoenix to consider what the members have heard.

House Speaker Andy Tobin formed the committee after his bill on water authorities was derailed.

Tobin's bill ran into opposition from ranchers and Yuma-area farmers. They worried it targeted their water and that there wouldn't be oversight of the proposed authorities.

Republican Rep. Brenda Barton of Payson said the special committee is an attempt to develop legislation that will benefit all of Arizona's diverse water interests.

Associated Press,

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