I hope the good folks in Golden Valley, Kingman and Mohave County are ready to go on a ride, so hold on tight. We are going back a number of years to when someone from up north came south and bought a lot of land in Golden Valley and north of Kingman out by Red Lake.
Mr. Rhodes was going to build thousands of homes in these two places. But when the bloom fell from the cactus, Rhodes was stuck. The man spent millions of dollars and moved mountains of dirt only to be left high and dry.
We know that land values have dropped 80 to 90 percent. Mr. Rhodes is the kind of man who does not like to lose money. Now the question is, how do you turn worthless land into something?
This is where the ride starts.
Rhodes is going to take the land that is desert and has not had water on it for thousands of years and turn it into farmland. Remember - there is a reason they call this a desert. I have been told that there is a law, which I have not seen, but that the higher-ups tell me, Mr. Rhodes can use all the water he needs, no questions asked.
The county and the West are working on 15 years of drought. I do not know how many acres they plan to farm in Golden Valley. I am not sure anyone knows and they will not tell you the amount they're going to use. They will tell people who ask about water that there is more than you will ever need, but remember whose name is on the bottom of the paycheck. They make that statement without any facts to back them up.
I have talked in the past with Herb Gunter, now retired head of the Arizona Water Resources. He told me three things to remember.
One, no one knows how much water is out there.
Two, Kingman and Mohave County use more than 20,000 acre-feet of water a year.
Three, because of the drought and the amount of water we use here already, there is no put back.
Now would be a good time for a water lesson. To grow an acre of alfalfa hay, it takes five acre-feet of water. Mr. Rhodes wants to water with sprinklers. With the wind we have in the desert, think about how much waste will be blowing in the wind.
From what I have found out, and I live out there and can see this from my back yard, their goal is 22,000 acres under cultivation, 10,000 acres planted in alfalfa hay. They are going to drill five wells with a 24-inch discharge pipe - lots of water. Simple math: 10,000 acres times five acre-feet or more, equals 50,000 acre-feet of water will be used. This does not factor in the water they will use with the rest of the land.
Always keep in mind, Rhodes does not care or give a thought to the people who live here. He will turn that land into something valuable, sell it to get his money back, and we will be left with nothing but a very dry source of water.
Bad law needs to be fixed. We have a county attorney and a city attorney, also a board of supervisors, a mayor and City Council. We need a law that due to the severe drought conditions, no one person can take that much water without proving with a new water study starting in the year of 2014 how much water we have that the plan they have can handle that much water.
Never forget: it's the water that is the rope that binds us all together.
Without the water, Kingman and Golden Valley will become modern-day ghost towns and no one knows how long that will take.
Remember, once the water is gone, you will never get it back.