Column: Candidates should know essential H2O facts

July 17, 2015 - Essential Water

Special to a Courier

With a Prescott City Council choosing fast approaching, I’ve listened possibilities contend they are conference from several “sides” about a H2O issues. It’s anybody’s theory as to how many sides are out there, though one thing is certain: dual of them are “fact” and “fiction.”

Over a subsequent 4 years, city staff will produce legislature with information and recommendation on technical issues, though legislature members make all final decisions on H2O policy. To do that competently, they contingency know some essential facts:

• Safe yield. The fact is we continue to repel some-more H2O from a Little Chino aquifer than we and inlet are putting back. Based usually on new groundwater withdrawals, we would need to save or obtain another 10,000 to 15,000 acre-feet per year to grasp protected yield. (One acre-foot equals approximately 325,851 gallons.) Consequences of continued overdraft embody some-more wells going dry, increasing pumping and drilling costs, reduced tide flows, and land subsidence.

• Regional cooperation. The fact is we have not succeeded in entrance together as a segment to strech protected yield. Science can produce information about direct and supply to assist in allocating any community’s grant to a problem and a remedy, though unless policymakers can arrive during a common prophesy for a future, establish on common values to beam decision-making and work in an atmosphere of trust and common responsibility, it’s tough to see how we will strech protected produce by 2025, or maybe ever.

• Big Chino pipeline. In and with Prescott Valley and Salt River Project, Prescott is intent in investigate to serve establish a impact of pumping from a Big Chino Water Ranch on a top Verde River. The fact is past studies by a U.S. Geological Survey, paid for by a now-defunct Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee, have already shown that there will be an impact.

Ultimately, a legislature will need to confirm possibly slackening is both applicable and affordable, and possibly a box for a tube should be put to Prescott voters. Even if a electorate authorized a pipeline, it would usually be partial of a answer. Demand contingency be reduced.

• Pipeline alternatives. The fact is there are alternatives to be investigated. In Jun 2014, Prescott legislature members authorized a agreement with an eccentric consultant. His range of work includes a care of intensity long-term destiny H2O sources as identified in a Central Yavapai Highlands Water Resource Management Study, such as rainwater harvesting and increasing effluent recovery. Other alternatives to be explored could embody assertive H2O conservation, reuse of wastewater treated by modernized technologies, charge H2O liberation and recharge, and developer-funded equivalent programs.

Should a consultant suggest serve review of choice H2O sources, it will be adult to a council, with staff advice, to confirm possibly and how most to spend on such investigation.

• Conservation. The fact is charge is a slightest costly approach to widen parsimonious H2O supplies, quite when compared to importation projects. Furthermore, charge has been gaining larger acceptance by a open in new years.

To date, charge programs in a Prescott segment have been tolerably successful, formed mostly on tiered H2O rates, some financial incentives, and intentional efforts upheld by information programs. Although Prescott has a best H2O charge module in a Prescott Active Management Area, it has achieved usually a fragment of a intensity savings.

Currently, there are no effective controls on H2O use outward a home for possibly new or existent construction. It will be adult to a legislature to confirm possibly to hospital landscaping codes, generally for new construction.

Candidates for Prescott City Council competence be conference things from several “sides,” though they should know these essential facts: we are overdrafting a Little Chino aquifer; we have not been means to establish as a segment on a solution; importation from a Big Chino Water Ranch but slackening will revoke Verde River flow; there are alternatives to importation that have not been entirely considered; and charge will be partial of any solution.

The Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) will horde a forum/panel contention on H2O and associated issues for Prescott mayoral and legislature possibilities on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon during a Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 882 Sunset in Prescott (two blocks behind True Value). Candidates will be accessible to plead with a open before and after a forum.

Read a questions CWAG will ask a possibilities to plead during Please contention your questions and comments to

Leslie Hoy is CWAG Media Coordinator, a first member, and has lived in Prescott for 16 years.

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