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Council forms Water Sustainability Committee for City to be proactive about the issue

Monsoon Park, also known as the Green Hole. Councilman Travis Lingenfelter advises a proactive approach to Kingman's water issues.
Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.

Monsoon Park, also known as the Green Hole. Councilman Travis Lingenfelter advises a proactive approach to Kingman's water issues.

KINGMAN – Councilman Travis Lingenfelter says Kingman has historically been reactive as opposed to proactive on the issue of water, but hopes the newly instituted Water Sustainability Committee will reevaluate that frame of thought.

Council approved a resolution creating the committee at its meeting April 3.

“Really, the purpose of this was to get us to where we have a paradigm shift,” Lingenfelter said. “And rather than be reactive, we start being proactive on the issue of water, which is really important.”

He explained that other nearby areas or municipalities are primarily concerned with water considerations for their own populations. Being proactive, he added, will help Kingman look after itself when it comes to water conservation and related issues.

The U.S. Geological Survey, for which Kingman has partnered with the county, will yield a new groundwater model. Those efforts will help the City develop a “one-water framework,” and will ensure that discussions on water and water conservation continue upon completion of the study and model.

Lingenfelter said that framework will emphasize, “Breaking down the barriers between water, wastewater, storm water, conservation efforts and reuse to promote water sustainability and resiliency.”

He also emphasized that the resolution created a working committee, as opposed to a commission. Lingenfelter explained that the committee will consist of seven members. According to the April 3 Council agenda, they will include members from the City’s Public Works Department, Engineering Department, three from Mohave County and two members of the public.

Committee members will be nominated by Jim Bacon, interim city manager, and later approved by Council.

“The scope of it is going to be identifying properties, projects and programs necessary to promote the sustainability and resiliency of the Hualapai Valley Groundwater Basin,” Lingenfelter said.

Nick Hont, civil engineer, whom Lingenfelter described as having “Kind of taken the lead on the study and groundwater model …” has agreed to be the initial chair of the committee. Lingenfelter said the committee looks to fill the two citizen-appointment slots with citizens having backgrounds and skillsets related to local or regional water issues.

“Hopefully we get two really knowledgeable citizens for those appointments, because they’re going to be busy,” he said. “This is a working committee.”

Lingenfelter explained that he believes Kingman should approach its water issues as it would a game of chess, using strategy and advanced moves to protect itself.

“How do we best protect the sustainability and resiliency of our community and this basin? That’s what it’s all about,” Lingenfelter said.

Citizens interested in joining the committee can contact the City clerk’s office at 928-753-5561.

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