By Mark Moran | Queen Creek Tribune
Queen Creek’s deal to bring water from Cibola has survived an initial attempt by three counties to scuttle the arrangement.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Liburdi denied a request for a preliminary injunction pending the outcome of a lawsuit by Mohave, La Paz and Yuma counties against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for approving the town’s deal with GSC Farm.
“All of the parties on our side were disappointed,” said Mohave County Supervisor Travis Lingenfelter after the judge allowed Queen Creek to continue importing 1,033 acre-feet of water for $27 million.
The counties claimed the bureau failed to do a thorough study for its environment impact statement that considered dwindling the Colorado River’s dwindling water level.
They said transferring the water to Queen Creek would adversely affect people and the environment within the three western Arizona counties.
But Liburdi said that while he found “the balance of hardships favor plaintiffs, they do not tip sharply in their favor” and therefore can’t stop the deal until the outcome of a trial.
“Plaintiffs have not shown that an injunction is in the public interest, or that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm,” he wrote.