Mohave County Sets Aside Money For Possible Legal Action On Water

Published: Monday, March 5, 2018 - 6:20pm
Updated: Monday, March 5, 2018 - 6:29pm
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Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
Farmland lies on either side of Route 95 in Mohave Valley. Some is actively farmed, and other lots are not.

Lawmakers in Mohave County are setting aside money for legal action in a water rights case — just in case.

For months, Mohave County residents and lawmakers have worried an irrigation district in the area would allow water that belongs to land in the district to leave the district’s boundaries. It’s related to the potential sale of 2,203 acres of farmland. The buyer is the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District, the agency charged with replenishing groundwater in central Arizona.

CAGRD wants to leave fallow some of the land and use the associated water for that replenishment.

Lois Wakimoto, one of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors, said Mohave County needs to keep these water rights for its own development.

“I think this is really important to the future of Mohave County in terms of growth and development,” she said. “We need to be proactive in everything that we’re going to do.”

On Monday, a majority of the Board of Supervisors voted to reserve $20,000 for potential legal expenses if the dispute ends up in court.

Supervisor Gary Watson, who proposed the move, said, “I believe it’s a very important item for us to be prepared for litigation if that’s what it’s going to take.”

The Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District can decide whether to approve the water transfer. At its meeting Tuesday, the MVIDD will discuss changing a resolution that bars moving water out of the area.

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