Patty Buzzelli

More than a dozen area residents, including Patty Buzzelli, addressed Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District board members Tuesday in opposition to the proposed movement of contracted Colorado River water outside the MVIDD boundaries through a fallowing program intended to provide water to the Phoenix and Tucson areas. 

DK McDONALD, The Daily News

MOHAVE VALLEY — During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District board meeting, directors continued to hear from area residents opposed to the proposed movement of contracted Colorado River water outside the water district.

“We told people it’s not going to be on the agenda, but you see how many people still showed up,” said Mohave County District 5 Sup. Lois Wakimoto. “It’s really important to them and to their community.”

A total of 73 people attended the meeting. Nearly a dozen voiced their continued opposition to Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District’s proposed purchase of Mohave Valley farms for the purpose of implementing a voluntary, rotational fallowing program intended to make water available for use in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Last month, board members introduced language to change Resolution 90-01, the District’s policy that prohibits the movement of water outside the district.

“Your decision affects the entire county,” Sandra Sampson told the board. “I ask that you don’t do what you want to do, but that you do what’s best for the entire community.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the voter registration application for Suzanne Evans, who farms just over 25 acres in the valley.

“I pursued the voter registration because I have an opinion and I want to state that opinion and vote on upcoming things and keep the board honest,” Evans said.

Patty Buzzelli said, ”I really care about this, I’ve done a lot of research now. It’s really so crazy; the Mohave Desert is much drier than the Sonoran Desert, but they want to come and take our water.”

Board Chairman Chip Sherrill assured the crowd the board is taking all their comments into consideration, as well as the needs of the entire district, not just the farmers.

The board also unanimously approved a commercial water allocation application for the clubhouse and maintenance building for Mohave Valley Golf.

In his report, Manager Mark Clark told board members the district used 335 acre-feet more water in January and February than the same time frame last year. Clark also reported that the Bureau of Reclamation lists the elevations of Lake Mead and Lake Powell holding steady; Lake Powell’s elevation was at 3,612 feet, which is about 54 percent full. Due to the lack of winter moisture, that elevation is expected to fall quickly.

BuRec lists a 17 percent chance of a shortage being declared in 2019, Clark said.

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