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Supervisors oppose plan to sell Colorado River water to parched Phoenix, Tucson

 

County will apply for 75 acre feet of water rights in move to bolster legal standing

 

KINGMAN – Water issues and nuisance matters were addressed separately during Monday’s Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The board approved Mohave County Manager Mike Hendrix’s recommendation to apply for 75 acre feet of Colorado River water rights for use on a 15-acre farm near the river.

 

Hendrix explained the purchase and use of the water puts the county in better legal position if it ends up suing the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District over its plan to allow Colorado River water to be bought and sold for use in Phoenix and Tucson.

“We’re showing that we need that water to be utilized in Mohave County, along the river, and it provides us a higher level of standing and a very good argument for them not repurposing the water and sending it down to Phoenix,” Hendrix said.

Board Chairman Gary Watson praised District 5 state Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, for her work at the Legislature on behalf of county water concerns.

Cobb has called for an investigation of whether district board members have a conflict of interest by intending to sell water for use in the state’s largest, and among its most arid, cities.

Watson also thanked Cobb for securing a $100,000 appropriation for study of the Hualapai Valley Aquifer, a large basin that is the primary source of water for the Kingman area. The study will supplement ongoing research of the basin by an outside party.

“It’s for the purpose of contracting with independent counsel to estimate the rate of groundwater depletion in the northwest basin planning area and estimate the number of years of groundwater remaining in the basin,” Watson said. “That appropriation is for $100,000 and we are hoping we can go back next year and see if we can get it expanded a little further.”

Dangerous Buildings Abatement

Development Services Director Tim Walsh provided information regarding the dangerous building abatement program his department administers. He explained the program targets buildings meeting criteria to be deemed dangerous and a public safety hazard.

“This current fiscal year we’ve been able to realize 15 abatements,” Walsh said. He said officials have notice to proceed on nine other buildings tapped for abatement.

Walsh explained other problems common to dilapidated structures, such as their use by transients or for drug activity, are addressed by the public nuisance abatement program administered by the Mohave County Department of Environmental Health.

Walsh said a $1 fee for each ton of trash deposited at county landfills provides about $60,000 each year to fund both programs.

Golden Valley Cactus Cleaners turns 3

The leader of the Golden Valley Cactus Cleaners, a group of volunteers that works to clear trash from the desert, briefly addressed the board of supervisors. Wayne Hollins said the organization last month celebrated its third year in operation.

“To date we've cleaned up 252,655 pounds of trash, 26 boats and 9,461 tires,” Hollins said. He said a number of cleanups are scheduled in the coming weeks and that the organization can always use additional volunteers.

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