YUMA, ARIZ. (CN) – The sheriff wants to build a moat to protect Yuma County from immigrants. “The moats that I’ve seen circled the castle and allowed you to protect yourself, and that’s kind of what we’re looking at here,” Sheriff Ralph Ogden told Reuters news service.
Sheriff Ogden told Reuters that a moat would help revive Yuma’s once-flourishing wildlife. At least one environmental group in Mexico, Pro-Natura, likes the idea, though Mexican citizens and officials overwhelmingly oppose U.S. proposals to build walls and fences.
A major problem with the plan for a moat is that the Colorado River is reduced to a trickle or less by the time it gets to Yuma, drained by upstream cities, farms, and industry. Federal water law requires states to use the water in the Colorado River or lose it, and states have staked claims to more than 100 percent of the water.
Before Anglos settled, overpopulated and overdeveloped the Arizona desert, now-dry streams such as the Gila, Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers flowed year-round.