3 Arizona counties may sue feds over QC water deal

By Mark Moran | Queen Creek Tribune

Queen Creek Town Council has given final approval to the transfer of a $27-million purchase of Colorado River water from GSC Farm in Cibola that could provide 2,033-acre feet of water a year – enough to meet the average annual water consumption by more than 7,100 households.

But in addition to federal and geographical hurdles, the town may find the so-called Greenstone deal mired in a new threat – a lawsuit by three Arizona counties against the federal Bureau of Reclamation for signing off on it.

Mohave County Supervisor Travis Lingenfelter told the Queen Creek Tribune that his county, as well as La Paz and Yuma counties, are poised to join forces and sue the bureau over its “finding of no significant impact” in a review of the deal.

“It’s not only a transfer of water, but a transfer of wealth,” said Lingenfelter. “This is like a reverse Robin Hood scenario where they are taking from the poor and giving to the rich. We already don’t have water to spare. It’s still like the wild, wild west out here and the Legislature has done a terrible job or protecting rural people.”

“We are unified up and down the river,” Lingenfelter said. “Transfers like this take away the ability of our people to grow. From a human standpoint the ability of rural people to grow and prosper is just as important as it is for urban people.”


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December 2022