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A look out my window reminds me that my property rights are restricted in many ways. A look at my water bill indicates more restrictions, including the need to pay the bill or have it turned off.

 

In the desert Southwest water is critical to the value of the real estate, including homes, farms and industry. Native American ruins across Arizona and New Mexico give evidence of previous civilizations that disappeared when water sources disappeared. That is a lesson that should cause caution by today’s residents.

Water has always been critical to human survival. Rome grew as aqueducts were built to bring water to the city from distant mountains. Some was used for the popular steam baths enjoyed by the ruling class.

Remains are still a tourist attraction. Earlier Israeli citizens built stone aqueducts to bring water to Jerusalem. King David invaded the city with success by taking his army through the underground tunnels. In these earlier days water rights went to the one with the best army.

Today, water is taken long distances to allow cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas to grow. Hundreds of dams have been built across the West to store runoff water and assure cities and farmers a stable supply of water.

Armies are no longer needed although many of the dams in the West were built by and continue to be controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

One fact remains constant. Power and money in the form of special interests still control the water.

Ranchers in Nevada’s Great Basin and residents of Mohave County share the fight to keep water in their use as power of the population centers like Phoenix and Las Vegas find ways to construct pipelines to get the water where most of the people live.

Los Angeles got 70 percent of the Lower Colorado water from Hoover Dam back in the 1930s when Phoenix and Las Vegas were just dots on the map. Today, the Central Arizona Project canals carry water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson. They want more and buy irrigated farmland along the river to increase their supply.

In the meantime, special interests within Mohave County avoid regulation of water rights that could benefit the average citizen and assure future residents a supply of this critical life sustaining resource. The county remains with a diverse set of issues on water resources and competing interests.

Apathy and lack of understanding of the common interests of all county residents contributes to inaction as the issue becomes more complex and possible solutions become restricted.

This is complicated by the diversity of authority and lack of countywide leadership that would recognize the one common interest: We live in a desert always short on water and represent a small minority of the Arizona water users.

Mohave County is David against the Goliaths of Phoenix and Tucson. We must think more like the Lilliputians who cooperated to tie up the giant.

Maybe a call for all the common people in Mohave County is needed. It is obvious that no countywide agreement on water issues is in place. County supervisors ignore cities even as the vast majority of the voters and tax base comes from citizens and business owners in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and Kingman.

Do the two supervisors who represent the population of the city of Kingman realize that half the water users in the city water district live in the county? Or that the wastewater systems serve the same county residents in that water district?

The only solution to bring some sanity to county water concerns is a countywide revolution of the citizens who want to have stable water supplies and quality water available in the home over the next 100 years.

Who out there has the passion and skills to start and organize a countywide water watch that will bring together the cities, water districts and county residents with failing local wells?

Time is running out as more and more water is being used in the name of growth and jobs. California already has huge issues. Can we learn from their errors?

Note: Any one interested in saving our water can contact Dr. Robertson through his web site at www.marvinswindow.com. Need a speaker to discuss issues and how to organize to get results? Book a date.

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