On August 14, 2018 the Yavapai County Contractors’ Association, the Central Arizona Partnership and SignalsAZ hosted a Mayoral Candidates’ Debate with Kell Palguta and Mike Whiting, the two individuals running for Prescott Valley Mayor. The candidates were asked two questions relating to water in Prescott Valley. How did they do?
The first question regarding water asked the candidates was for them to identify the three components of the Town of Prescott Valley’s Water Management Plan and share which component they thought was most important.
The Town of Prescott Valley’s Water Management Plan is comprised of the following three components:
1) Water conservation
2) Effluent management
3) Water importation from the Big Chino Sub-basin
While both candidates stressed the importance of water conservation, neither candidate identified effluent management as being relevant or important. Likewise, neither candidate identified any of the opportunities, and issues, related to the importation of groundwater from the Big Chino Sub-basin. Both effluent management and Big Chino groundwater importation are critical elements to the growth and the future of the Town of Prescott Valley.
The second question asked the candidates to define Arizona Department of Water Resources’ (ADWR) Assured Water Supply program and to discuss its importance to the Town of Prescott Valley.
The Assured Water Supply Program is a consumer protection program. The Rules that support the Assured Water Supply Program ensure that new subdivision growth cannot impact water supplies of existing users and that all new subdivisions within the Town can only occur after ADWR has determined that a 100-year supply of water exists for every lot. These rules protect both existing water users and new home buyers. Future growth will not and cannot occur unless water supplies have been established.
Mr. Whiting acknowledged that the Assured Water Supply Program is not well understood. While he also acknowledged that water supplies for current and future residents are limited, stating that 2.9 B gallons were available, in actuality the number is likely over 300 B gallons, according to ADWR. Mr. Whiting also indicated that achievement of safe yield, or the balance between the amount of groundwater pumped and groundwater replenished, was dependent upon the Assured water Supply Program, which is true.
Mr. Palguta shared his assertion that ADWR was full of highly trained and well-educated water resource professionals. It is these individuals that really understand the statutes and regulations regarding water supplies; they tell us what we can do, and what we can’t do.
Whichever candidate is elected will have something of a learning curve regarding Prescott Valleys water supply issues.
The Prescott Valley Mayoral Forum on SignalsAZ YouTube
Never Miss Another Event or Story. FOLLOW SIGNALSAZ: Facebook.com/SignalsAZ