County sues over water rights

September 8, 2018

After months of argument over the region’s Colorado River water supply, Mohave County is suing the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District.

Mohave County officials issued a Friday press release to announce their notice of claim, represented by Phoenix law firm Ryley Carlock & Applewhite.

According to the suit, the Irrigation and Drainage District is paving the way for a rotational fallowing program on county land that would allow for the transfer of Colorado River outside of Mohave County and into the Central Arizona Project.

The district’s board of directors each hold significant real property interests within the district, the release said, and stand to derive significant financial gain from the decision to sell water beyond Mohave County. The suit says Irrigation and Drainage District board members failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest or recuse themselves from voting before a decision was made.

The notice of Claim, signed by attorney Samuel L. Lofland, said the County would be willing to accept a settlement of $37,000, which would recover the amount spent on Mohave County’s legal expenses in fighting the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District’s efforts. Future claims may be applied to the district if future attempts at “profiteering” by the transfer of water continues, the press release said.

If no response is given to the county’s notice of claim within 60 days, Mohave County will take “necessary steps and precautions to protect its legal rights,” the release said.

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