Mohave County will buy additional water rights in Mohave Valley to bolster its claims in a fight over water with the Central Arizona Project.

In a move to increase its legal standing to maintain local water allocations along the Colorado River, the county board of supervisors voted to seek additional allocations on 15-acres of land it recently purchased in Mohave Valley.

If the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District approves the purchase of the allocation of 75 acre-feet of water, at a one-time cost of $2,500, it would bring the total allotment of water dedicated to the county on the parcel of land to 105 acre-feet each year.

“It appears we have on the particular piece of property roughly 2 acre feet of water per year which is essentially a residential allocation,” said County Manager Michael Hendrix.

The land, which the county recently purchased for $250,000, is currently farmed for alfalfa by a consortium of growers that under contract can farm the land until 2019 with a water allotment of 7 acre feet of water annually.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors are currently in a running battle to prevent the Central Arizona Project’s $34 million proposed land purchase that would transfer more than 5,500 acre-feet of Colorado River water annually from Mohave Valley to towns in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties.

Mohave County officials believe by demonstrating a need for the additional water, Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District would not agree to send the valuable resource from the Colorado River to towns in central Arizona.

“This provides us a higher level of (legal) standing and a very good argument for MVIDD not to repurpose the water and send it to Phoenix … and away from our river communities,” Hendrix said.

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