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Groundwater bill creates water committee for Mohave County

May 23, 2019 GMT

A bill that establishes a water study committee to examine Mohave County groundwater depletion and develop potential solutions passed the Arizona Senate on May 14 and is now waiting for the governor’s signature.

The rural community in Mohave County relies on groundwater, but have few tools for managing its groundwater future. The bill (HB 2467) is sponsored by Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, and supported by Environmental Defense Action Fund and partners that make up the Water for Arizona Coalition.

The Mohave County west basin water users study committee will consist of 11 members.

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Ten members are appointed to represent the users of groundwater in the Hualapai Valley basin and Sacramento Valley basin. The state land commissioner or the commissioner’s designee should serve as a non-voting advisory member on the committee.

The members will be appointed on the basis of their knowledge of, interest in and experience with the development, use and conservation of water and must reside or own property in Mohave County.

The committee will include two people who are involved in farming, a county supervisor, one city council member, one person who represents industrial water interests, one person who represents a natural resource conservation district within Mohave County, one person who represents mining interests, one member of the public who owns three or more water wells in Mohave County, one member of the Arizona House of Representatives, and one member of the Arizona Senate.

The committee will analyze all groundwater withdrawal data developed by the Department of Water Resources. It will make recommendations to the director of water resources, including recommendations on programs and policies for the basin. It will review and make recommendations to the director of water resources regarding the independent consultant’s report, in which the independent consultant estimates the rate of groundwater depletion in the northwest basin planning area and estimates the number of years of groundwater that remains in the basin.

Finally, the committee will submit a report of its recommendations to the director of water resources, the governor, the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, and the president of the Senate before Dec. 31, 2021.

Mohave County Public Works Director Steven Latoski has suggested that Supervisor Gary Watson from District 1 should be the Mohave County supervisor involved in this project.

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