On a rainy Monday, the county supervisors heard a dire warning about the decade-long drought impacting Mohave County and Arizona.
The supervisors approved a proposed 2015 ordinance that will govern the use of reclaimed water. A+ reclaimed water is water that has been treated at a wastewater treatment plant but is not drinkable.
The proposed ordinance would not impact residential homes but would deal with reclaimed water for agricultural, irrigation, manufacturing, landscaping use and would include manmade lakes at parks or golf courses. Swimming pools and Davis Camp Park would be exempt from the ordinance.
District 5 Sup. Steve Moss of Fort Mohave said the county needs to start planning now to find ways to conserve water. Any future cut to the water allocations from the Colorado River would be devastating. This ordinance would be a small first step in solving the problem. Moss said.
Bullhead City Councilman Mark Clark said if the water level at Lake Mead drops from its current level of 1,088 feet in elevation to 1,075 feet, then the first water shortages would be declared. There is a 30 percent chance that will happen in the county and throughout the state in 2016 and a 60 percent chance that happens in 2017.
Clark, who is on several water association boards and committees, also said the two options in the future would be reclaiming treated water or desalination of salt water for areas along the coast. He also said Bullhead City sells its reclaimed water only to Laughlin Ranch so far. Only some of the city parks use reclaimed water.
Steve Buck, who represents Marina Coves, Los Lagos and Bella Vista subdivisions, asked if the ordinance applies to the private manmade lakes at the subdivisions or on the golf courses.
Moss said the ordinance would affect new and existing private manmade lakes only if A+ reclaimed wastewater is available. The ordinance would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2018. The ordinance applies to lakes bigger than three acres in size.
District 3 Sup. Buster Johnson of Lake Havasu City opposed the ordinance, saying there are already zoning restrictions in place.