MOHAVE COUNTY – Locally elected officials are encouraging people to attend and participate in an upcoming public input session regarding possible creation of an Irrigation Non-Expansion Area (INA) to mitigate depletion of the Hualapai Groundwater Basin that supplies water to the greater Kingman area.
The Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), Thomas Buschatzke, and the agency, welcome citizen input during the meeting.
“The ADWR has scheduled a public hearing to be held September 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. here at the Mohave County Board of Supervisors auditorium for the purpose of hearing public comments regarding the initiation of procedures to establish a subsequent Irrigation Non-Expansion Area over the Hualapai Groundwater Basin,” member Travis Lingenfelter said during the September 6 Board of Supervisors meeting.
“We need you all to turn out there,” member Jamie Scott Stehly said during the September 6 Kingman City Council meeting. “It’s important that your voices be heard.”
J’aime Morgaine, Executive Director of the Kingman-based Real Change Political Action Committee, countered that council and community members should renounce any INA notion in favor of an Active Management Area (AMA) that she said would provide more restrictive and better tools to govern local groundwater use.
“This is now the moment for us to proactively protect our water aquifer and an INA is just not enough,” Morgaine said. “It’s not okay to say it’s better than nothing because it’s not….please push for the AMA.”
City Manager Ron Foggin expressed concern that procedures have not been initiated in pursuit of an AMA and that Director Buschatzke is coming to Kingman for INA-related input, and that AMA fervor might be measured as INA opposition.
“An AMA is just not on the table,” Foggin said. “That’s not what ADWR is offering and there’s not a citizen petition that’s in place to require a vote of the people for an AMA.”
Public Works Director Rob Owen said that the INA is particularly tailored to address agricultural impacts on basins, a key local concern given evidence of heavy draw and drain by farms north of Kingman. He said AMA’s address basin water use by all.