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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions June 27, 2016

1/30/2014 3:26:00 PM
Letter: Start discussion now before crisis clouds judgment


Arizona is moving toward a collision between private property rights and community resources. Recent reports show that a water shortage in the SW U.S. will be sooner than anticipated. Nevertheless, many applaud the recent up-tick in housing starts since this is a major sector of our economy.

Development is encouraged by laws that allow building even without proven water resources in non-active management areas. Domestic wells are allowed to pump up to 35 gallons per minute without restriction. We also discourage changing zoning from higher to lower density as courts may consider this a "taking" of property value.

Some questions need to be discussed as we enter our next growth phase:

1. What is the carrying capacity of our water resources, even with strict conservation measures?

2. Should agriculture In AZ be reduced in order to support more population growth?

3. Will continued growth negatively impact our air and other aspects of our quality of life?

4. Can we find reasonable compromises so we don't kill the goose that has laid so many golden eggs?

Let's start this discussion now before a crisis clouds our judgment.

Bob Rothrock


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014
Article comment by: David Ladensohn

Can we be Civil?

Mr. Rothrock calmly suggests early dialogue. But he gets slammed by commenters. As the playing field changes, everyone will have to make changes, including agriculture, which uses the most water in the state, the nation and the world. We are a community and will need to all make changes and sacrifices as the price of irreplaceable water rises. Rothrock wisely counsels starting the discussion today.

Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Article comment by: V V

Seems abit off balance. How about limit population, golf courses, resorts and cookie cutter homes. The waste does not come from property owners. As usual, it comes from greed and senseless clueless growth.

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: Judgment already clouded

Anyone who thinks "our judgment" isn't already clouded simply isn't paying attention.

In recent years note carefully the positions taken by officials in the City of Cottonwood. All of this has been well documented by the VI.

In Cottonwood, city staff disdains the predictive results of the USGS numerical model as unreliable. Most members of the city council, if not all, apparently support this position.

In Cottonwood, they attempt to delegitimize the USGS as the best most accurate source of scientific information about the hydrogeology of our area.

They actually use our tax dollars to pay a purported water conservation expert on their staff to make presentations about how the Verde River is "not going dry".

They refuse to join in and support regional water planning efforts.

Does any of this sound like unclouded judgment to you?

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: Potentially Killing Agriculture

The number 2 question, reducing agriculture for people, just hits me in the gut. I moved here with a life's savings for one reason...great farming. If what I am reading bears any fruit in the future, I'll be following Young's Farm and many others to greener, farm friendly pastures. obviously AZ could care less what food they eat or where it comes from. Wait until they are paying 10 bucks a gallon for GMO milk!

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: Slater Slater

I'm betting Las Vegas will figure it out.They
recycle 90% of their water.

Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Article comment by: Slam those doors shut!

Mr. Rothrock is here. Slam those doors shut! He and the likes of him are the only ones who should be allowed to live in the Verde Valley. Everyone else get out.

Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Article comment by: Mr. Rothrock's request while wise, requires compromise from both sides.

After following the interactions on the state trust lands in the paper..lot of searches and re-reads of articles, it seems that his idea of compromise had been no compromise.

Per several articles and comments it was shown that the city had managed to reduce the possible density of the 'some day maybe possible who really knows for sure' state trust lands by 1/2. To which Mr. Rothrock said that if the process could be drawn out long enough he hoped for zero density. Compromise used to be known as 2 parties each conceding some part of their opposite desires in order to reach agreement or 'meet halfway'... what happened to that concept?

Indeed he is correct that the line between conservation and private property rights will become an issue at some point but again where is the halfway point there? If the owner gives up half his water use or density will that satisfy those that would rather hold out for absolute zero?

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