The Tri-City Council added its name to the growing list of opposition to the proposed transfer of water rights to Queen Creek.
The council, made up of mayors and councilmembers from Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, and Kingman, unanimously passed a resolution opposing the permanent transfer of fourth priority Colorado River water from GSC Farms near Cibola in La Paz County to Queen Creek. In early September Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke recommended a partial approval of the proposal – or 1,078 acre-feet of water of the 2,083 acre-feet requested.
“I think we are all aware of what is going on with Queen Creek and the Department of Water Resources, so I don’t know that we need to get into that discussion,” said Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady. “I think the discussion needs to revolve around how are we going to fight it?”
Lake Havasu City Mayor Cal Sheehy noted that each of the three cities have drafted their own resolutions of opposition, along with the Mohave County Board of Supervisors and the Mohave County Water Authority. Brady said the Mohave County Water Authority is also working to set up a meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation, which is the next entity that will need to sign off on the requested transfer of water rights.
Similar resolutions have been passed in river communities in La Paz County and Yuma County.
Brady said Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls recently put together a letter of opposition to the transfer and is working on getting signatures from as many river communities as possible. The letter will then be sent to the Bureau of Reclamation. All three mayors at the meeting said they have already signed the letter.
“I think the only thing that we need to discuss here is whether or not we want to offer one more voice into the thing,” Brady said. “That would be opposition from the Tri-City Council mayors, or the cities themselves.”
Brady then motioned for a resolution opposing the transfer, which will be authored by Tri-City Council Chairperson Jen Miles and signed by all three mayors.
“We have good representation from Northwest Arizona,” Sheehy said, after seconding the motion by Brady. “I think lending our voice as the Tri-City Council to show that we do not want precedent set to remove water off the main stem or allow any transfers of that water would be a good move by our organization.”