Lake Havasu City, AZ – During a presentation to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors on May 4th, Bob Saul with Stockton Hill Farms gave an informational presentation to the board about the farm’s activities and water issues. According to Saul, Stockton Hill Farms will be farming 12,000 acres by 2017 and will use 60,000 to 70,000 acre feet of water a year. After Saul’s presentation, Supervisor Buster Johnson questioned the accuracy of the figures presented. “If Stockton Hill plans to farm 12,000 acres of alfalfa with part drip irrigation and part pivots at the industry baseline of 8 acre feet of water per year, that adds up to 96,000 acre feet per year,” Johnson stated. “This figure is exceptionally larger than the numbers presented to the board,” Johnson continued.
According to Johnson’s figures, when adding up the water being used by both Kingman Farms and Stockton Hill it amounts to 192,000 acre feet per year. “This will drastically reduce the aquafer and could cause local wells to run dry. It could also threaten the water supply for the city of Kingman,” Johnson explained. “With water being so tight, it is important that the numbers presented to the board by these farmers are adding up.”
During the presentation, Saul claimed that the alfalfa currently being farmed is taking very little of the 15 million acre-feet of water available in the Hualapai Valley basin aquafer. Yet testimony given during a recent water meeting hosted by the Central Arizona Project showed that the alfalfa being farmed by farms, such as Stockton Hill, is one of the most water-intensive crops.
Johnson stated during the meeting that he feels more research needs to be done on the amount of water being used. “Water resources are invaluable, and to not have full transparency when presenting this information to the Board of Supervisors and the public is sad indeed!” Johnson ended.