Water managers declare Hualapai Valley off limits to new irrigation
The director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources has designated parts of Mohave County off limits to new irrigation amid dwindling groundwater levels.
It’s the first time the department has granted the status known as an Irrigation Non-Expansion Area in 40 years and applies to the Hualapai Valley Groundwater Basin east of Kingman.
The designation by Director Tom Buschatzke is designed to curb what officials call the unsustainable expansion and scale of new irrigated land.
Mohave County officials have been concerned for years about new large-scale corporate agriculture and say four times more water is leaving the local aquifer than is going back into it each year, threatening public health and safety for 70,000 rural residents in the area.