The Central Arizona Project has abandoned a plan to purchase seven farms in Mohave County and transfer the water to central Arizona. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.
The Central Arizona Project’s governing board voted to purchase the farms, with nearly 14 thousand acre-feet of Colorado River water rights, last October. The idea was to pay farmers to fallow their fields and send some of the water to replenish aquifers in central Arizona.
But negotiations stalled with the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District, which needed to lift a ban on water transfers and agree to the fallowing program. The sale was opposed by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors and by Kingman, Bullhead City, and Lake Havasu.
Central Arizona’s groundwater replenishment district has negotiated more than 20 water acquisition agreements since 2013. It is still pursuing a transfer with the Town of Quartzsite for one thousand acre feet of Colorado River water. The Arizona Department of Water Resources recommended against it, saying Quartzsite needs to put the water to use in its own area.