"The vast majority of people don't understand where their water comes from and it's not a problem or an issue until the water stops," Tom Whitmer said during Tuesday evening's Mohave County Republican Forum meeting.
Whitmer, the Arizona Water Resource Department Regional water planner, covered a variety of water-related issues in the talk.
Some of the results of the study show that the Hualapai Valley aquifer which supplies some of Kingman's water has about 3.8 million to 10.1 million acre-feet of water and recharges at a rate of 2,000 to 3,000 acre-feet a year, Whitmer said. The Sacramento Valley aquifer, which serves both Golden Valley and Kingman, has about 3.6 million to 9.5 million acre-feet of water and recharges at a rate of about 1,000 to 4,000 acre-feet per year. The Detrital aquifer, which serves White Hills and parts of Dolan Springs, has about 1.5 to 3.9 million acre-feet of water and recharges at a rate of about 1,000 acre-feet a year, he said.
Recharge rates are affected by elevation, temperature and rainfall, Whitmer said. The problem comes when people withdraw more water from an aquifer than what is being recharged into it.
In at least two of Mohave County's aquifers, depletion could be a problem, he said. The Detrital aquifer is in the best shape, with less than 300 acre-feet a year withdrawn.
The Sacramento Aquifer is bordering on unsafe yield, he said. Approximately, 3,700 acre-feet of water is withdrawn from the aquifer a year. With a recharge rate of only 1,000 to 4,000 acre-feet a year and the current drought, the area could be taking out more water than is going in.
The Hualapai Valley Aquifer is in the most danger, he said. Approximately, 9,050 acre-feet are taken out of the aquifer every year. The recharge rate of 2,000 to 3,000 acre-feet a year can't keep up, Whitmer said.
Be sure to read the whole thing, I copied from the latter part of the article mostly. Full disclosure, the only information I have about this meeting where this gentleman shared information comes from the article I linked above. I'm certain that plenty more interesting bits of information was available... at least I'd hope so (it is not an in depth sit down and interview type of article).
As readers may know this 'water' issue we are having in the Kingman area becomes a topic of great conversation from time to time.
Time to take a closer look at the information shared in the KDMiner.com article.
In at least two of Mohave County's aquifers, depletion could be a problem, he said.
Could be a problem?? To be fair I'd like to know if something more specific was said. Size of the problem... how soon the problem... that sort of thing.
With a recharge rate of only 1,000 to 4,000 acre-feet a year and the current drought, the area could be taking out more water than is going in.
Again with the 'could be' stuff. I should have been at the meeting... long drive, but maybe I would have had these questions answered.
The other thing I'd want to know...
The Sacramento Valley aquifer, which serves both Golden Valley and Kingman, has about 3.6 million to 9.5 million acre-feet of water
Does that mean, on the low side, that there is 3.6 million acre feet of water that can be used??
These are answers I loved to know more about, even if it means adjusting my views on my perception of the 'water problem' we are supposed to be having.
Coming up on two years ago I wrote this blog post and I ask that you give it a read if you have the time. Covers similar examples of putting math to the data that is known, just like I am going to do with the information shared in the KDMiner.com article.
More disclosure, all data collected for the math equations that follow come from either linked media articles or linked government documents from Arizona web sites.
We will solve for the following...
the results of the study show that the Hualapai Valley aquifer which supplies some of Kingman's water has about 3.8 million to 10.1 million acre-feet of water and recharges at a rate of 2,000 to 3,000 acre-feet a year
Approximately, 9,050 acre-feet are taken out of the aquifer every year.
I'm up for a challenge... so we'll solve for how long it would take to use up ONLY HALF the water resources in the Hualapai Valley aquifer. Not only that, we will assume that it will never, ever, rain again in Mohave County -- so no recharge.
Still not good enough. So we will double the amount of water used annually, measured in acre feet, and round up to 20,000.
This is going to be simple math -- but double check my work anyway.
Half of the low estimate of 3.8 million acre feet equals 1.9 million acre feet.
Add Zero for recharge
Rate of water used equals 20,000 acre feet annually.
1.9 million acre fee divided by 20,000 acre feet annually equals... 95 years.
95 years to use HALF. Should I say it?? Fine, much can happen in 95 years. Leaving me to ask the question... who are we to decide on a non problem now, for what might not even be a problem then??
Unless the questions I shared earlier are answered, and the answers allows me to be swayed by facts, the math says we don't have a water resource problem. The only potential problem I see is a water resource delivery infrastructure problem... the kind that tax payers pony up for when no one else wants to invest in the area. As a tax payer I know that future costs for such improvements will be needed, even if the area is not growing. Defraying the costs with an additional amount of people equal to the current population would certainly make those high cost types of improvements easier to afford.
And this is why it is a fundamental growth issue. If the community was really thinking about helping our future generations of Kingmanite's (not even born yet) then we should be working hard and competing for local investment and development. IF the planets lined up just right and everything fell into place (which it certainly will not) it is possible that the folks here today wouldn't have to pay for any of it for years. Accounts could be set up to save money for future infrastructure needs perhaps?? (yeah, I'm being waaaayyyy too optimistic there)
I posted on the KDMiner.com site yesterday this tidbit...
Now you watch... the folks that will respond to me won't attack the math or the facts.
That was validated quickly. Too bad because it might actually be an interesting discussion and the sharing of the facts would be something I'd look forward to.
Link to more MOCO posts including public data regarding local water supply.