The Arizona Department of Water Resources will be holding a meeting on January 30th to discuss water conditions in the eastern La Paz County, the area including the McMullen Valley, Vicksburg and other agricultural and residential areas.
Concerns over the depleting groundwater in the region were heightened when reports emerged that thirsty crops are being expanded on thousands of acres by big international corporations at a time of drought for Arizona, and that the activity is unsustainable.
A man identifying himself as Terry from the Bouse / Brenda / Hope / Vicksburg area got up to speak at a recent La Paz County Board of Supervisors meeting to express his concerns.
“The water in that basin is down to 1200 feet,” he said. “Irrigation wells generally go down 400 to 500 feet lower than the water level to pull that water out. For irrigation, to utilize water at 1200 feet, it’s going to be down to 1600 to 1700 feet. For domestic users, 1300 to 1400 feet. The cost for this is just going to be astronomical.”
The ADWR is holding the meeting in response to such concerns about water resources in Arizona, in this case specifically in the West Basins Planning Area west of Phoenix. This meeting is the first of a series of meetings to examine water resource demand and challenges for the area.
The meeting will include an overview of groundwater conditions and regulatory tools available to the area. During the meeting, the public will have the opportunity to provide information regarding their water concerns to the Department.
“We recognize the water resource challenges facing rural communities and look forward to working collaboratively with local stakeholders to develop a better path to securing Arizona’s sustainable water future,” said Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke.
“We are gratified that the Director of ADWR has requested the opportunity to meet and share with the stakeholders in the McMullen Valley the mitigations and sustainability solutions that will provide the security residents, businesses and farmers are looking for going forward,” said La Paz County Supervisor Holly Irwin. “On behalf of the La Paz County Board of Supervisors, I urge you to attend this public meeting and make sure your needs, concerns and voices are heard.”
In addition to the Planning Area Stakeholder Process, the Water Initiative involves the creation of the Water Augmentation Council, which will investigate long-term water augmentation strategies, additional water conservation opportunities, funding, and water infrastructure needs.
The meeting will be held January 30th, 2016 from 3pm – 5pm at the Centennial Community Center, 69725 Centennial Park Rd., Wenden, AZ 85357.
Information regarding Arizona’s Water Initiative is available HERE.