On February 23, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes made a visit to Cochise County to meet with members of the community to hear their concerns about their groundwater supply.

I attended the meeting in Sunsites where many people in the rural area rely on a well to get their water. However, some people said their wells have gone dry and others worry its only a matter of time before they will be faced with the same issue.

Many community members shared their stories with Attorney General Mayes to give her a better understanding as to what they are facing.

One passionate Cochise County resident emphasized the importance of the groundwater supply for everyone throughout the community, It doesn’t matter your race, your religion, your creed, your tax bracket or your political affiliation, if you don’t have water you don’t have life.

Many of those gathered in the packed community center shared similar sentiments specifcially in regards to mega farms in the area.

The mega farm, Riverview began buying land in Cochise County in 2014. It is based out of Minnesota. The company is drilling deep wells and pumping large amounts of water for their farming. Now private property owners say they are facing the consequesnces of those actions.

Attorney General Mayes said, Too many average people are being negatively impacted by corporate entities that they have no chance of beating.

Now residents of the area are also having to drill their own wells deeper and deeper to get water. One resident shared that the well on her property was originally 100 feet, then 450 feet and is now 650 feet deep.

I looked up what it costs to drill deeper wells and according to Forbes in 2024 the average homeowner has to spend between $25 dollars and $35 dollars a foot for well drilling. This price does not include other materials that are needed for the job.

Many also worry about the value of their property if their well does go dry.

If the water goes, our homes arent worth anything, said one resident.

Another resident said, Ive been here just over two years and Ill be darned if Im losing my place. I have nowhere to go and all my money is tied up in my house.

Attorney General Mayes said she and her team plan to help this community. We gathered a lot of evidence here from real people about their situation and that could play an important role in a future potential lawsuit, Mayes said.

She also made a promise to personally work on legislation if nothing is done. She said, If we have to take this issue to the ballot and let all 7 million Arizonans decide this matter or all of the folks who vote in the next election then that’s what I’m prepared to do.



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