Water committee on managing county aquifers readying for October work
KINGMAN – The groundwater study committee for groundwater-dependent Mohave County will start its work in October to examine the county‘s groundwater depletion and develop sound solutions.
“We will be meeting soon,” said Supervisor Gary Watson from District 1, who confirmed he will be the supervisor responsible for this project. “I think it will have a great deal of influence on the direction of the county.”
The committee’s formation came about from a bill introduced by State Rep. Regina Cobb (R-Kingman) that will create governances from each of Arizona’s rural counties to request studies of their respective aquifers from the governor’s office. Such studies would be independent and allow the Arizona Department of Water Resources to have data it needs to decide on what measures should be taken to protect the state’s groundwater, Cobb said. The bill became law during the recent Legislation session.
The committee will consist of 11 members, ten of them representing the users of groundwater in the Hualapai Valley basin and Sacramento Valley basin engaged in local animal and plant production, or representing industrial water and natural resource conservation district located in the county, or representing mining water users and well owners.
“The list has been put together,” Watson said, “but it has not been officially presented.”
One committee member represents a city in Mohave County and everybody expects it will be Kingman.
“I imagine it would be Kingman,” Watson said. “Probably Mayor Jen Miles, I would think.”
Miles admitted Cobb mentioned in the past that the mayor would be a good candidate, but nothing is official yet.
Both Miles and Watson are excited and looking forward to October.
“Number one, we want to make sure that the water that is used is for a beneficial use,” Watson said. “That is part of the requirement. Two, we want to develop best management practices, use different planting methods and different crops. For example, growing alfalfa requires a lot of water, but growing pistachios – not so much. A part of it is driven economically, and part by sustainability.”
The committee will make recommendations to the Arizona Director of Water Resources, the governor, speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, and the president of the Senate on or before Dec. 31, 2021.
Today’s News-Herald’s Brandon Messick contributed to this report.