An environmental watchdog organization filed a lawsuit yesterday, accusing Arizona officials of mismanaging the state's water resources.
The suit could reshape laws which are decades-old and strip thousands of miners, farmers and developers of their water rights.
Based in Tucson, Ariz., the Center for Biological Diversity claims that long term overuse of the state's groundwater supply has depleted underground aquifers and damaged rivers, streams, and other surface-water resources.
The suit claims the damage extends to major waterways such as the Verde, Upper San Pedro, and Santa Cruz rivers along with most of Arizona's wildlife areas near rivers.
Officials from the Arizona Department of Water Resources did not comment on the suit Tuesday.