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Mohave County Residents Worry About Groundwater Pumping

State officials say they will continue to monitor water levels in northwest Arizona in case new restrictions are needed.

The Department of Water Resources held a meeting there recently to address growing concerns.

In recent years, agriculture has increased substantially in portions of Mohave County and with that so too has the pumping of aquifers. That has stoked fears among residents and local lawmakers about losing a critical water source for the City of Kingman and other nearby communities. State estimates show thousands of new acres of farmland north of Kingman and about 23,000 acre feet of groundwater pumping

Denise Bensoussan, a resident, said the state needs to place restrictions on groundwater pumping immediately.

“Right now it’s too late. We are depleting. No one is doing anything about it,” she said.

In much of rural Arizona, including Mohave County, there are practically no restrictions on pumping. Citizens can petition the state to institute regulations, or the head of the Department of Water Resources can do so.

State officials said they will continue to monitor the situation and consider the various options. 

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.