KINGMAN – Chairman of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors Pete Byers attended the first meeting of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Statewide Water Advisory Group Friday.
“The first meeting was very productive and what we are doing is very important. Throughout the next several meetings we will begin to achieve a consensus for the development of proposed legislation which will protect our environment and property rights,” Byers said.
Byers had been selected to represent Mohave County on the advisory group. He said that about 55 people were on the committee in addition to multiple ADWR staff members. ADWR director Herb Guenther and Gov. Janet Napolitano’s Chief of Staff for Operations Alan Stephens were also in attendance, Byers said. Members from the Senate, five separate county supervisors, representatives from cities, towns, metropolitan and rural water companies, real estate interests and contractors associations made up the majority of the group, Byers said.
The purpose of the advisory group, according to Guenther, is to provide a direction for the preservation of natural resources, especially water, as rural Arizona continues to be developed at break-neck speeds.
“The meeting started off by asking all of us to list what we considered major problems and what we thought might be the solutions to those problems,” Byers said. “Then we were asked, ‘What would you do if you were Water Tsar?’ About half of us had the time to answer the questions and discuss the issues. The other half will get their chance at the next meeting.” Byers said that there would be a total of seven or eight meetings.
The next meeting, on ay 19, will once again be in Phoenix. He said he was surprised by the number of participants on the committee, but believed that he learned a lot from listening to the various views from all over the state.
“I’m very pleased to get a chance to be at the table with these good people,” Byers said. “The development of rural Arizona is on the drawing board and these architects are looking at every structural necessity to ensure a quality future will be built to last.”