Lake Havasu City, AZ –La Paz County along with the Arizona Association of Counties (AACo) have filed a joint amicus brief with the Arizona Supreme Court in support of Mohave County’s standing in the Planet Ranch water rights case. AACo represents Arizona’s 15 counties across the state and over 331 elected officials. “I want to sincerely thank AACo and La Paz County in supporting our standing on this issue. Their support shows the importance of Arizona counties being allowed to stand up and participate in matters important to their jurisdiction,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated.
In AACo and La Paz County’s joint amicus brief, they explained the importance of Arizona counties being allowed to participate in matters pertaining to the use, consumption, conservation and transfer of water resources within their jurisdiction. One of Mohave County’s argument against the sever and transfer of water rights at Planet Ranch was that they were not involved in settlement agreements nor notified in a timely matter. “Mohave County’s concerns were never heard and we were completely left out of negotiations when it came to the drafting of the Bill Williams River Water Settlement Act,” Johnson stated. “This amicus brief shows support of our standing from an outside organization that does not have a direct relation to this case. By AACo filing this brief, it gives Mohave County a stronger voice,” Johnson continued.
Maricopa Superior Court Judge, Crane McClennen, ruled back in June that Mohave County has the right to object to Freeport McMoRan’s proposed water rights transfers within its jurisdiction on behalf of its constituents. According to Johnson, the water rights transfer would take about 10,000 acre feet of water away from Mohave County citizens. “This large amount of water amounts to roughly 3.26 billion gallons which is enough to provide water to well over 20,000 homes,” Johnson said. Freeport filed an appeal in regards to Judge McClennen’s ruling to the Arizona Supreme Court who agreed to hear the case in the beginning of this month.
The Supreme Court will now decide if they will accept the amicus brief into the final record.