New bill regarding Yuma's water concerns farmers and leaders

KSWT NEWS 13 POLITICS

New bill regarding Yuma's water concerns farmers and leaders

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Yuma, AZ- "It's really a water grab for us from us," said Dave Mansheim a local farmer . He says if HB 2338 passes it would destroy Yuma's $3 billion agricultural business.

The proposed bill before the Arizona legislature would establish a commission that would sell water to bigger cities.

Mansheim says not having a say on Yuma's rights to the Colorado river or how much water is sold is the same as taking away our water.

"If we have to limit our production and if we have to reduce the amount of water that we have for the crops our yield would go down, it would drive up the cost of the produce and it will also hurt the work force," said Mansheim.

In response, Yuma County Supervisor Russ clark other local leaders and farmers plan to testify before the State Legislature Tuesday. All of them are against the proposed bill.

"If our county runs out of water our growth dies, and possibly our agriculture with it," said Clark.

KSWT news 13 called Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin. He's the sponsor of the bill. We asked Tobin why he says passing a bill that takes away water from Yuma's bloodline would benefit local farmers.

"This only came up a few weeks ago. This water study has been going on for 2 years. Instead of farmers coming to me letting me know this would hurt them, they are going to you," said Rep. Tobin

Rep. Tobin says the legislature is working on the water crisis in Arizona and that this bill seems like a way to solve the problem. And as for who this bill would benefit, other cities across the state in need of water.

He says it's not set in stone and the bill will have to pass through the water committee Tuesday then get passed in the House and Senate.

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