The Pima County Board of Supervisors directed county staffers Tuesday to come up with water conservation measures tied to land use.
The board could adopt the measures in the spring when it amends the county’s comprehensive plan.
The changes would mark an important shift for water conservation, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said.
The county could deny some land-use proposals that have “unacceptable impacts” on water supplies, according to a county report released last month.
The county’s legal authority rests with the mining of groundwater in unincorporated areas.
Developers may have to consider a project’s impact on groundwater before submitting construction plans or rezoning proposals to the county.
All development has some impact on groundwater supplies, according to the county report.
Development continues in areas dependent on groundwater “with very little or no information provided to decision makers or the public about the possible consequences,” the report added.