The state's water agency is delaying implementation of a rule to gradually reduce groundwater pumping rights that Pinal County farmers can sell to others.
Farmers have expressed concern that the Department of Water Resource's plan to gradually phase out so-called "extinguishment credits" in Pinal County by 2054 would reduce property values.
The Casa Grande Dispatch reports that the gradual reduction was set to start in January but will be delayed by at least a year.
A department official says a new group will be formed to recommend ways to balance the region's groundwater use with replenishment.
Assistant Director Sandy Fabritz-Whitney said any solution the department accepts would need to protect the agricultural economy "for as long as feasible while maintaining water supplies for future municipal and industrial development."
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.