Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Coming for rural water resources...

A very interesting column appeared in the Miner yesterday. Click here to see all of it. Below is the meat and potatoes of it and how us folks not located in Maricopa County could eventually be affected.

As we look to develop our vast groundwater reserves - the only remaining water available to us - SRP's response (and the central Arizona interests it represents) is to claim they own this water supply, not us. SRP's idea of returning the favor to rural Arizona is to pick off our communities one at a time, dictating how much water we can have and where we can get it. For example, SRP prevented Payson from accessing local groundwater supplies, capped William's groundwater withdrawals at 700 acre-feet of water per year, and is attacking the water rights of individual property owners in the Verde and Salt River watersheds.

Now they are coming after Prescott and Prescott Valley. By defining surface water in a way unrecognized by any state court, SRP is challenging the communities' ability to pump groundwater from a well field more than 20 miles from the Upper Verde River. If we apply SRP's definition of surface water, every groundwater well in the state is at risk.

SRP information can be found at this link.

I wrote a couple of years back about how the main threat to water resources in our area actually wasn't new development in our area... it is new development in another part of Arizona. The author is making a pretty good case, don't you think??

And sure, while none of the above mentions Mohave County, you just have to know that if SRP and other Maricopa County interests want to make it so... they will. To me it is more concerning that any new developer with grand designs here in this county (specifically in and around the Kingman area).

Rural Arizona must pay attention to what is happening here. SRP has set its sights on controlling every drop of water in the state, with little or no regard to the needs of our rural communities. If SRP wins the battle with Prescott and Prescott Valley over the Big Chino Water Ranch Project, they will lock up all the groundwater and with it, rural Arizona's economic future.

The groundwater here in Mohave County will either help fuel the growth and therefore the economy here more locally... or it will help fuel the growth and local economy of another area of the state.

What SRP is doing to rural Arizona is not right. It is not fair. SRP should take a lesson from our battles with California over the Colorado River; water is to be shared - not owned. The biggest straw in the system should not dictate how we manage the state's precious water supplies. It is time for rural Arizona to unite on this issue and send a clear message to SRP that it doesn't get to control all the water in Arizona. It is SRP's turn to work with rural Arizona to ensure that we all have the water supplies we need to sustain our futures.

Nicely done and I hope folks around here are up to it.

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