USDA gives UA a grant to help farmers develop drought-resistant rubber plants

Published: Monday, September 26, 2022 - 2:29pm

Arizona’s drought has policymakers scrambling to find new ways to conserve water, and, because of that, a new crop may be in Arizona’s future.

Although it might seem that explosive urban growth has created Arizona’s water shortage, policy makers say otherwise.

While growth is a contributing factor, the lion’s share of Arizona’s water goes to agriculture.

Congressman Tom O’Halleran recently announced that the University of Arizona has been awarded up to $35 million from the USDA to work with industry and tribal communities to develop drought-resistant rubber plants.

“I’ve been working on water issues in Arizona now, for 25 years. And my whole theory has always been, we have to continue to look at tomorrow,” O'Halleran said.

The project will focus on Pinal, Pima and Maricopa counties.