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Mohave County Board of Supervisors move forward in water battle

August 21, 2018

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with its legal battle against the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District.

In July, the district passed a resolution that would allow the transfer of Colorado River water outside of its boundaries through a rotational fallowing program.

The Board of Supervisors’ claim that the decision contradicts the district’s policy that forbids the transfer of Colorado River water outside its boundaries and that the district’s board failed to disclose personal conflicts of interest before the decision was made.

In a unanimous vote Monday, the Board of Supervisors agreed to file a notice of claim against the district for its alleged violations in an attempt to settle and, thus, prevent the transfer of Colorado River water out of Mohave County.

According to District III Supervisor Buster Johnson, a specific date or settlement value for the notice of claim has not yet been set.

“If the county is required to bring suit, it will likewise pursue equitable relief, which may include, but would not be limited to, declaratory, injunctive and mandamus relief,” the claim states. “A notice of claim is not required prior to seeking equitable relief, but the county is putting MVIDD on notice that unless the (resolution passed in July) is vacated and (the policy that forbids the transfer of Colorado River water outside the district) is reinstated (and) until MVIDD complies with all conflict disclosure requirements, then the county will pursue equitable relief in addition to monetary damages.”

The terms of the settlement were not discussed by the supervisors during Monday’s meeting, however, the claim states that it would equal the total amount the county spent on outside legal counsel and consultants in response to the district’s decision.

Board members also approved sending a letter to Governor Doug Ducey expressing the county’s support of the Hualapai Tribes’ use of 4,000-acre-feet of Colorado River surface water for a pipeline from Diamond Bar to Grand Canyon West. The letter will emphasize that that use of groundwater in the Truxton Basin is not acceptable.

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