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Fri, Aug. 23

Board orders probe of water plan
Recently discovered proposal seeks to divert 14,000 acre-feet of water a year to Nevada

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Board of Supervisors directed staff to investigate an application for the diversion of Mohave County water rights to Nevada at their meeting Monday.

The application, which just recently was discovered by residents and county officials alike, was filed with the Arizona Department of Water Resources approximately 18 months ago. The application, if approved by ADWR, would transfer approximately 14,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Beaver Dam Wash to Mesquite, Nev.

Jack Riley, part of the team developing Beaver Dam Ranch near Colorado City, a proposed master-planned community in the Beaver Dam area, said the diversions would greatly injure current residents if it went through. Water will be taken in such quantity, he said, that existing wells could go dry if this much water is piped out of the area. Within a decade, he said, Beaver Dam, a growing town, could become a ghost town.

It also has the possibility of setting a horrible precedent for other metropolitan areas possibly coming into Mohave County to take the precious county water and pipe it out of area.

"This diversion of water greatly enriches a few Nevadans to the extreme detriment to the property owners of Arizona," Riley said.

Riley said that the application indicates that Mesquite will mix their arsenic-polluted water with the pure water from the Beaver Dam area and pipe the mixed water back into the area. Beaver Dam does not want any part of this plan, he said.

Bob Frisby, president of the Beaver Dam Water Company, concurred with Riley's objections. He objected to the fact that it seemed as if ADWR was actively trying keep them out of the loop regarding the project. He also said that the Virgin Valley Water District in Mesquite made an agreement with a property owner that had just 40 acres of land, regardless of the feelings the rest of the multitude of landowners in Beaver Dam/Littlefield.

The Board voted unanimously to have the staff investigate the application and compose a letter to the ADWR indicating the objections the county has to piping water out of the area.

Conversations will be continued at a later Board meeting. Riley indicated that no set deadline for public hearing of the application had been set.

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