Understanding the issue of water management in Prescott AZ
Water management is a complex issue that many have when moving to Arizona. Is Prescott and the Prescott Valley area in need of extreme water management policies? Did you know a massive body of water is less than 500 feet below you in almost every part of Prescott Valley? Below the ground is an aquifer that includes enough water to last centuries at the present level of usage. The existing rate of usage (2014) has to do with 0.2% of the volume in storage space each year. However, the Town of Prescott Valley and other water users are working hard to minimize this overall use to absolutely zero so that the aquifer will be sustainable for an indefinite time.
The aquifer below Prescott Valley belongs to a larger basin that stretches throughout the location from Chino Valley to the north, to Prescott in the south, and also from Granite Mountain to the west to Mingus Mountain to the east. This aquifer is legitimately assigned by the State of Arizona as the Prescott Active Management Area (AMA) Groundwater Basin. The water usages are actively taken care of by the Arizona Department of Water Resources under the 1980 Groundwater Management Act.
1980 Ground Management Act
The 1980 Groundwater Management Act (Act) mainly influences water service providers, such as the Town of Prescott Valley, as opposed to specific water users. Among the most substantial results is that the Act avoids groundwater use for brand-new class– successfully safeguarding the groundwater products for existing homes and also existing platted lots. New class are needed to “bring their very own water”, suggesting that the developer needs to locate water resources, such as purchasing and retiring existing water rights from agriculture or obtaining redeemed water credits– water resources that are not groundwater by state regulation.
This Act merges the policy of other types of water beside groundwater, the usage of water from exclusive wells is exempt from a policy if the wells pump much less compared to 35 gallons per minute. These water users do not need to check or report water use or abide by any preservation programs. Because of this, using “excluded” wells has proliferated throughout the Prescott AMA as well as a number around 10,000, making exempt wells, in total, the third biggest water provider in the AMA.
Impacts of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act
The Act has confirmed its worth in current times since the location has actually been under a significant dry spell because the mid-1990s as well as has greater than doubled its population in that amount of time. Because of ADWR and also its authority under the Act, water usage in the Prescott AMA has actually not increased over the past 50 years. In 1965, the Prescott AMA had a great quantity of irrigated agriculture that alters upon groundwater. Due to the governing framework, these agricultural uses have actually been converted to local uses and also currently supply water for homes as well as companies. Some increases to make use of are most likely due to the fact that of water rights that were approved long ago yet not yet put right into usage, the overall demands on the groundwater system have actually been covered by ADWR.
The Town of Prescott Valley, as well as the City of Prescott, are both large municipal water providers in the Prescott AMA. Prescott Valley is devoted to providing a risk-free as well as another trustworthy supply of water to residents and companies and has actually taken a number of vital actions to accomplishing this objective.
Among the more remarkable objectives of the ACT is that of reaching Safe-yield by 2025. Safe-yield is a condition, specified in a statute, where the groundwater products are secure and also not decreasing. This objective, when attained, will certainly make sure that Prescott Valley locals have a supply of water that will last indefinitely. To reach the goal of risk-free yield, we must reduce our reliance on Prescott AMA groundwater materials and also broaden our profile of alternate water items. The Town has actually established its redeemed water from the waste water treatment plant right into an able to be used an asset that could be utilized for brand-new financial development, yet still, sustain the Safe-yield objective (see Water Reuse web page). The Town is also collaborating with the City of Prescott to introduce extra water products from a bordering groundwater basin that will certainly provide an alternate resource of water for droughts, help reach Safe-yield and also supply water for economic advancement (see Big Chino Water Ranch Project web page). Integrated with water conservation steps (see Water Conservation page), the Town’s vigor and also the water products could be maintained well into the near future.