Monday Is Deadline To Comment On Cibola Valley-Queen Creek Water Transfer

By Bret Jaspers
Published: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 9:09am
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
The Arizona Department of Water Resources heard public comments on Nov. 19, 2019, on a controversial proposed water transfer.

Monday is the deadline to submit comments to the state on a proposed water transfer from La Paz County to the town of Queen Creek. 

The water is a Colorado River entitlement tied to land very close to the river. An investment company, GSC Farm, owns the property. But it’s only selling the water — for $21 million.

Grady Gammage Jr., a lawyer for the company, said this makes Queen Creek more sustainable because it would not have to rely as heavily on groundwater.

“Arizona’s water policy is to try to encourage municipal growth on renewable supplies, surface water supplies,” he said after a hearing at the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) last month. “And there is now a mechanism to do that.”

But residents of La Paz, Mohave, and Yuma counties are vehemently opposed to the transfer. They call it a transfer of economic opportunity, because on-river water entitlements are what those counties plan to use to fuel growth. They fear allowing this plan will lead to many similar deals.

People can email, fax, or hand-deliver comments to ADWR until 5 p.m. Monday.

In a couple of months, the state will make a recommendation to the federal government. The feds have the ultimate authority to allow GSC Farm’s water contract to be revised so that Queen Creek can use it.

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