Prescott AZ (January 26, 2021) – A proposed new water policy extending Prescott’s water and sewer services to unannexed areas outside the city limits has been postponed twice, and with good reason. Gary Beverly, president of the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG), will talk about how the city’s pending policy would increase the use of groundwater, encourage sprawling development, and circumvent citizen oversight at a Zoom meeting on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m.-noon. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/
Beverly will explain the origin of Prescott’s current water policy, which prohibits the sale of water outside the city limits without an Intergovernmental Agreement, and examine how the policy will increase the draw on our aquifers, accelerating an already unsustainable overdraft situation. New homes provide a maximum wastewater recovery of only 80%, meaning more water is used in every home than is recharged, or returned, to the aquifer. By encouraging unchecked new development, the sale of water to unannexed areas will increase the number of new homes and the rate of depletion of our groundwater.
The new policy will also allow the city to bypass Proposition 400, passed by Prescott voters in 2005. Beverly will review the provisions of Prop 400, which call for “additional local requirements for annexation to ensure that any future expansion of the city’s boundary does not undermine the city’s efforts to attain safe-yield or otherwise threaten the water supply of city residents.” Safe yield is a state of long-term balance between the water withdrawn from our aquifer and the water returned both through natural and artificial recharge.
In addition, Beverly will address how the new water policy will reduce planning options for roads, open space and wildlife corridors, create urban sprawl, and violate provisions of the voter-approved 2015 General Plan.
CWAG is a local citizens group advocating for a sustainable water future for Prescott and central Yavapai County and for the protection of the upper Verde River. For more information, visit www.cwagaz.org, CWAG’s Facebook page, or email email@example.com .