MOHAVE VALLEY–It was standing room only as concerned farm owners and residents of the Tri-State filled the Mohave Valley Fire Department meeting room Tuesday afternoon.

Residents were there to voice their concerns over the plans to transfer local water rights to Maricopa county region. But, their prepared fight was short-lived when the agenda item they were there to contest, was tabled.

Those in attendance were told by Mohave Valley Irrigation Drainage District manager Mark Clark the item was being tabled so a policy regarding the matter could be drafted and then presented at a future MVIDD board meeting.

“I know there are some concerns the residences have down here regarding this agenda item, and the county plans to watch it very closely,” said Mike Hendrix, county administrator for Mohave County.

Another hotly debated issue was the discussion regarding the possibility of fallowing several farmlands in the valley.

“If our lands become fallowed and we experience high winds, like we do, it could create a dust bowl,” said District 5 Supervisor Lois Wakimoto. “They say they are looking at it (fallowing) to benefit our area, but it’s not.”

Wakimoto has been strongly against the transfer of water rights since she began tackling the issue after being appointed to her Board of Supervisor seat last year.

After tonight’s meeting, she believes the resistance of the farm owners and local residents is “beginning to make a dent” with the Central Arizona Water Conservation District.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part One of Two. Check back Friday, May 4 for Part Two: “Could Fallowing Cause A Dust Bowl In Our Area?

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