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Environmentalists file suit over Arizona water use

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PHOENIX (AP) — An environmental watchdog group has filed a lawsuit accusing Arizona officials of mismanaging the state's water resources.

The suit, filed Tuesday, could reshape decades-old laws and strip thousands of miners, farmers and developers of their water rights.

The Tucson-based 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 says 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.