- Slides: 23
Comparison of Drought Impact on Water Utilities in the Tucson Basin Noel Mc. Kee, Ashley Betz, Ross Richard, and David Rodriguez
Definition of Drought • According to Arizona Drought Preparedness Plan – “A sustained, natural reduction in precipitation that results in negative impacts to the environment and human activities”
Past Drought Plans • Drought in Arizona was dealt with on an emergency basis • Governor Jack Richard Williams – 1968 – Construction of Central Arizona Project (CAP) was approved – 1973 -1993 – Construction in progress
Past Drought Plans Continued • Governor Bruce Babbitt – 1980 Groundwater Management Act • to control the amount of overdraft that was occurring statewide • to most effectively distribute the state’s limited supply of groundwater while considering the state’s evolving needs • to develop the water supply to increase and recharge Arizona’s groundwater
Arizona Drought Preparedness Plan • Governor Janet Napolitano’s newly implemented drought action plan • Past drought actions focused on emergency response, this plan focuses on drought preparedness • Flexible to accommodate different areas of the state • Formed after considering drought plans of other states • Relies heavily on scientific resources
Drought Response Ratings • • 0 – Normal Conditions 1 – Monitoring Unusual Dryness 2 – Drought Alert 3 – Drought Emergency
Scientific Resources • Measurement of reservoir levels, stream flow, and soil moisture • Monitoring ocean temps • Data from U of A Tree Ring Lab (to predict long term climate data)
Arizona Drought Preparedness Plan Continued • Implemented by the Governor’s Drought Action Task Force • Comprised of committees of experts – Meet regularly throughout the year to assess drought conditions • Task Force members include – State, Local, and Tribal leaders – Officials from: • • US Geological Survey Natural Resources Conservation Services US Bureau of Reclamation Salt River Project – Anthropologists and Geographers
Materials and Methods • Past and present state drought plans were researched • A survey was created • Five water utilities in the Tucson area were selected to be interviewed • Responses were compared
Interviewees • Marana Water Department Utilities Director Brad De. Spain • Metro Water General Manager Mark Stratton • Oro Valley Water Utilities Director Alan Forrest • Tucson Water Administrator Dennis Rule • Green Valley Community Water General Manager Arturo Gabaldon
Results How many people is the water provided to? Tucson Water 700, 000 (80 -85% of Tucson population) Metro Water 45, 000 Oro Valley 45, 000 Marana 7, 000 Green Valley 16, 500 What is the source of the water? Tucson Water Metro Water 50% Groundwater, 50% CAP water Groundwater and CAP water Oro Valley Groundwater Marana Groundwater Green Valley Groundwater
Does the company have a CAP allocation and is it used? Tucson Water Metro Water Oro Valley Marana Green Valley Yes, Yes (8, 850 acre feet) Yes, 65, 000 acre feet, No, the infrastructure to obtain the water still needs to be built Yes, Yes (1, 337 acre feet), No – infrastructure to obtain water needs to be built How is the CAP water used? Tucson Water Metro Water Oro Valley Marana Green Valley All used for artificial recharge Artificial recharge, paper water, wet water N/A In lieu recharge with Cortaro Marana Irrigation District N/A
Are there plans to buy (more) CAP water? Tucson Water Metro Water Oro Valley Marana Green Valley No Yes, an additional 4, 600 acre feet N/A Yes, an additional 1, 500 acre feet N/A Is Tucson in a drought? If yes, for how long has there been a drought? Tucson Water Yes, 5 -10 years Metro Water Yes, 6 -9 years Oro Valley Yes, 4 -5 years Marana Yes, 5 -7 years Green Valley Yes, 6 years
How long has this utility dealt with/how is it affected by the drought? Tucson Water Metro Water Oro Valley Marana Green Valley Not affected directly Has dealt more with conservation practices than with the drought Relatively new utility, had just bought all of private companies by 1996, drought hit shortly after Since drought started Has not dealt with drought as of yet What has the utility done to prepare for drought in the past? Tucson Water Created a water bank Metro Water Conservation tactics Oro Valley Marana Green Valley Company is too young, has reacted to drought rather than prepared Well reconditioning phases Green Valley does have a Curtailment plan that limits use when in drought.
Does the company have a drought contingency plan for the future? Tucson Water Metro Water Oro Valley Marana Green Valley No, it has not been impacted by the drought yet but all water utilities must have water plans for the next 100 years; water bank, and Emergency Supply Plan Working with county to make ordinance or regulatory control and further restrictions, if necessary General long term planning that can be pushed forward if necessary No, just monitoring and maintenance No, but working on one to participate in the state’s drought action plan
How does the company feel about Governor Napolitano’s new Drought Action Plan? Tucson Water Not equally applied to all areas Metro Water It is a good first step. Identifies a good number of conditions and concerns. Good that control lies with the individual provider Oro Valley Good idea. Good initiative for the state, but water utilities should be provided more. Positive about proactive behavior. The more data the better Marana Green Valley Good for as far as it went but has no “teeth” (needs to be more aggressive) Likes it, but feels that there are certain changes that are required to work as well as the importance of good communication between participants and the state
How will the Drought Action Plan affect this company? Tucson Water Metro Water Developers must develop drought plans that include drought restrictions for new building Has not been affected Oro Valley Company must submit a drought plan. Marana Have not been affected. Water table is going up Green Valley Community Water will bring together 6 smaller water utilities and plan a drought action plan for their specific area. Their plan will have to be tailored specifically to them due to nature of where they get their water (from the south) and their priorities (humans vs. agriculture).
What revisions would your company make to this plan? Tucson Water Address the issue that areas with growing populations take up more water and make a distinction between growing areas and those already suffering from the drought. Require AMA’s to develop a 100 year plan-if they do not, state can step in to protect water. Metro Water Would have implemented this plan sooner. Each company should develop own drought action plan. State should develop separate office for conservation. Oro Valley Disagree with mandates made by the state. Implemented programs should be left to the jurisdiction of local authorities rather than state. This could lead to danger if different areas are all left under state dictation Marana Green Valley More conservation. Possible statewide conservation blitz. The state when writing the report made the areas too big. The cells are very different and need to be dealt with individually. The drought action plan is supposed to be about conservation but really it is reallocation.
Useful Websites • • www. drought. arizona. com www. water. az. gov. gdtf www. arizona. org www. cap-az. com
Conclusions • All companies believe that Tucson is in a drought but opinions about how long it has lasted differ. – Bigger companies believe the drought has lasted longer, possibly because these areas have seen more population growth and have experienced more strain on their water supply. – Smaller companies plan to invest more in CAP water, possibly because they recognize the need to obtain water before it is gone. • Tucson is different from most areas because it relies mainly on groundwater and the drought only affects the groundwater in the long run.
Conclusions Continued • Drought is more detrimental to CAP water than anything else. • Mixed reactions about the Arizona Drought Preparedness Plan
Acknowledgments • Thank you to the utility representatives for giving their time and providing information • Thank you to Dr. Riley, our classmates, and everyone in attendance