A Development Showdown Over Water in Rural Arizona
"Arizona’s top water regulator has endorsed a company’s proposal to take water from farmland near the Colorado River and sell it to the fast-growing Phoenix suburb of Queen Creek," reports Ian James.
The company, GSC Farm LLC, is seeking approval "to permanently leave 485 acres of farmland dry and sell its annual entitlement of 2,083 acre-feet of Colorado River water — about 678 million gallons — to Queen Creek for a one-time payment of $21 million," according to James.
The proposal is incredibly controversial, according to sources cited in the article, and the public comment period leading up to the Arizona Department of Department of Water Resources approval of the project included 854 written comments in opposition to the proposal, out of a total of 872.
The controversy inspired state legislation, HB 2405, to block the transfer of Colorado River water away from communities along the river to prevent the deal from setting future precedents for water allocation. The transfer still requires federal approval.