Local government officials for years have considered and abandoned notions of pursuit of stringent water protection programs referred to as “INA’s” and “IMA’s”. That changed when Mohave County supervisors voted Monday to petition the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources to declare an “INA” to protect the Hualapai Valley and Sacramento Valley water basins.

The chief proponent, supervisor Steve Moss, conceded an INA is imperfect, but he said it is a “cup of poison” preferable to doing nothing and accepting death if the precious resource disappears. Moss’ motion in support of an INA declaration was primarily motivated by concern that increasing agricultural activity threatens to further draw down the Hualapai basin in the Kingman area.

Robert Fenwick, a resident of the Red Lake area where agricultural activity has increased north of Kingman said pursuit of an INA is “too little and too late.” Fenwick noted existing uses would be grandfathered and allowed under new restrictions imposed by an INA or other programs.

“It’s not going to stop what is going on at Red Lake,” Fenwick said. “They (farms) are grandfathered in and they will pump until it is gone to make hay to send to China and Saudi Arabia. This (INA) is a feel good, warm fuzzy thing. It’s not going to stop what’s going on at Red Lake.”

County administrator Mike Hendrix advised that there’s no guarantee that the ADWR would approve an INA request. He noted the agency director rejected such a request last year and that there are only two other INA’s established in Arizona.