‘Mixed feelings’ — Court of Appeals rules on Verde Ditch

Water rights of Verde Ditch shareholders cannot be litigated in Yavapai County Superior Court, according to the ruling of a three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals. /Photos by Bill Helm

Ditch company, Salt River Project not permitted to litigate shareholders’ water rights in county Superior Court

By Bill Helm | Bugle

The Verde Ditch Company and the Salt River Project are not permitted to litigate the water rights of Verde Ditch shareholders in the Yavapai County Superior Court, said the ruling of a three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals.

The ruling, according to one of the ditch’s five commissioners, “will make it much more difficult to balance out water use through severances and transfers in the entire Verde Valley.”

According to Verde Ditch Commissioner Al Dupuy, the process to fairly supply water will now need to go through the Arizona Department of Water Resources, which would be “more expensive, more cumbersome and will take much longer.”

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