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Flagstaff suing to dam drilling close to its water ranch – SCNow

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Flagstaff is suing a Canadian energy company to try to block drilling of a well the company plans near ranch land the city bought in 2005 to secure its underground water supply.

The city announced Friday that it is seeking a temporary restraining order blocking Vancouver-based Desert Mountain Energy from drilling on state trust land less than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from its Red Gap Ranch property. The city says it wants to permanently block the company from drilling the well.

The city says drilling for oil, gas or helium at the site and using stimulation methods like hydraulic fracturing to boost production could damage the underground aquifer it intends to use for its municipal water supply.

Flagstaff plans to build a pipeline from the ranch about 40 miles (64.4 kilometers) east of Flagstaff and also supply water to the Hopi and Navajo tribes. The city says it’s future water supply relies on the project and it intends to “vigilantly defend its water rights” from any action that threatens that supply and its water quality.

The company didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Its website says it is actively drilling for helium in the Holbrook basin east of Flagstaff.

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