Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ruined Rivers Series

(Note: when I started this blog, my resolution was to avoid the usual blog subjects: politics, Armageddon, the president, war, angst, politics. But there's one serious subject I can't avoid if I want to continue a pleasant existence up in the Arizona mountains -- water...GrannyJ)

Before I pull myself together to work on yesterday/today's blog (my visitors just left for the heat of the Valley and airport fun and games), I must mention the new series running in the Arizona Republic -- "Ruined Rivers," it is called.

If you don't take the Republic, you can see the series (and other background) here. And there's even a water-oriented blog by Shaun McKinnon best accessed from the same site. By all means, read it. The big article is by no means friendly toward Prescott's new water farm up the Big Chino.

And it was apparently written before SunCor's announcement of plans to develop some 15,000 acres of the Yavapai Ranch way up the Big Chino. (So that's why Carol Springer & other folk have been so adamant about widening Williamson Valley Road -- it wasn't the Las Vegas ranch, after all.)

Admittedly, Phoenix has a vested interest in what happens to water upstream. In fact, the Salt River Project tends to get pretty proprietary about the Verde. I don't think they worry too much about Prescott, as such.

But, hey, I love the upper Verde. For instance, have you ever been to Hell Point? It's a beautiful area that hasn't been ruined by tourism or party-ers. Lack of water could do it in pretty fast, though.

I wish the article had given some ideas on how to solve the water vs. developer problem that we face.


Linda G. said...

When my family moved to Prescott in 1947 there was water rationing. A couple of years later Prescott purchased land and began to pipe water from Chino Valley. There was much rejoicing and a celebration called The Big Splash, and the policy of waste all you want began.
I'll bet SunCor residents will enjoy putting about on a lovely new green watered, at least for the first five years or so, by water pumped from an area that normally feeds into the Big Chino aquifer.
As you know.
Thanks for the oportunity to vent Granny j. I just hate that our Grandchildren are going to face the barren waste without the taste of water.. cool..clear..water....

Granny J said...

I suppose I'm old enough to take the same attitude as the developers, namely, "Water? That's for the next generation to figure out. Me? I'm outa here." With bags of $$$. Fie on them!

Pettrix said...

The Prescott area while beautiful, has many problems, which will only worsen with time. The area is growing FAST. Developers are coming and buying land by the 100's of acres and developing all their cookie-cutter houses.

Now, unlike many years ago, Prescott is an EXPENSIVE place to live. Median Housing for Prescott is in the $600,000 range. The largest migration to this area is by wealthy Californians. Compared to Southern-California, prices in this area are still somewhat reasonable but that gap is closing and closing FAST.

What drove this rapid and poorly researched growth is $$$$$. With the Big Chino Pipeline costs now hitting over $200 million, the residents will have to flip the bill, our water bills will double or triple in the next couple years. Is the pipeline necessary, with this type of growth, YES. If they do NOT install the pipeline, THIS AREA WILL RUN OUT OF WATER. Plain & simple.

So the pipeline will go in by 2010. Even though the USGS says that the first 24 miles of the Verde River, "WILL DRY UP". As the Verde gets fed by the Chino Aquifer, via underground springs. As Prescottonians and PV-onians, pump away the water, the Verde River will go away.

The Verde River was just put on the top 10 Rivers in the USA that are on the endangered list of drying up and gowing away!

It's sad but true. You can thank all the fat cats for ruining this area. It will only get worse. Money Magazine for 2006 just announced Prescott as the TOP 5 towns to retire in.

Here they come!! By the thousands!!
Just like they did in the 1990s. :(

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