Closed door meeting on water transfer set
Mohave County is continuing its fight against the Central Arizona Project decision to move forward with a $34 million purchase of farmland and the associated water rights in the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District.
At the end of January, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors fired off an eight-page letter to the drainage district’s board of directors in opposition to the sale. In response, the district has scheduled an executive meeting for today to consult with its legal counsel.
One of the contingencies of the sale is the passage of an amendment or revocation of a drainage district resolution that prevents water within its jurisdiction to leave Mohave County. Without the change the sale will fall through.
Mohave County Board President Gary Watson is hoping the drainage district will not make any changes to its resolution.
“I’m not sure what will come of this meeting,” Watson said. “I’m hoping they will take our position seriously and really examine our issues. Certainly we are very serious, but we will have to see what happens after the meeting.”
The district is located in the northwestern part of the county running along the Colorado River and its flood plain between Bullhead City to the north and Needles, Calif., to the south.
Seven farms are under consideration for the sale. The farms have a full cash value of nearly $4.5 million with an assessed value of $415,551.
The Central Arizona Project is in the due diligence phase of the sale with a pair of New York City hedge fund firms to purchase the farmland totaling approximately 2,200 acres with approximately 14,000 acre feet of diversion water rights from the Colorado River that are within the drainage district.
If the sale goes through it will divert approximately 5,500 acre feet of water to towns in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties.
Watson realizes a lot hinges on what the drainage district decides.
“I think there is a portion of the MVIDD board that is taking this very, very seriously,” Watson said. “I’m hoping the other couple of members will come around.”