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|Residents band together to conserve water|
|Written by Jessica Canchola|
|Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:49|
The residents of Tombstone are sticking together to protect and fix their water.
The Save Tombstone Water Merchant Coalition and Shovel Brigade have teamed up to save their most precious resource.
“Our mission is to tell our story and raise money, so we can finish paying our lawyer who is defending us in Washington, D.C,” said Martin Devere, volunteer for Save Tombstone Water.Flooding after the 2011 Monument Fire in Huachuca Mountains damaged Tombstone’s water supply lines. Since then, town officials have been battling with the U.S Forest Service to get proper equipment to get their lines fixed.
“The citizens are very concerned,” Devere said. “We’ve got to have water to survive. It’s just sad that it’s gotten this far. We’re up to a litigation and we can’t wait any longer.”
In order to raise that money Save Tombstone’s Water has been setting up fundraisers and selling bottled water in local shops.
The lawsuit could result in gains not only for Tombstone, but also for other towns that are in similar battles over water rights, according to Moe Sinsley, a spokesman for the Shovel Brigade.
“The Forest Service didn’t take into account that Tombstone owns the land that those water lines are on,” Sinsley said. “Issues like this are all over the country.”
The Tombstone Shovel Brigade is also working to solve Tombstone’s water issue by making repairs.
The Forest Service allowed members to make repairs if they go on foot and use hand tools.
“We moved tons and tons of boulders before the monsoons started coming in,” said Justin Read, a shovel brigade volunteer. “We’ve removed beat-up pipes so Tombstone can have water.”
Read joined the Shovel Brigade when he first heard about the complex issue.
Read stressed that the “powers to be” need to think about the town and not about themselves.
So far the city government has spent $276,000 on the water issue, according to Ruben Villa, the town’s finance manager.
“They need to go up that mountain and see the progress that’s been made,” Read said. “There are people that have gone up there every day and have busted their hump to try to get things fixed up there.”
The town will continue to work together and do anything they can to save their town. The next event that “Save Tombstone Water” will be at is the Helldorado Festival in October. People can buy water for $2 and/or make donations.