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Q: Arizona water supply ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Arizona water supply
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: beautex-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 06 Jun 2004 18:08 PDT
Expires: 06 Jul 2004 18:08 PDT
Question ID: 357359
What is the projected adequacy of water resources in Northern Arizona,
specifically Yavapai and Coconino counties, through 2035?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 06 Jun 2004 19:10 PDT
Sheesh...these are BIG counties.

The information I am coming across doesn't appear to include water
projections for the counties as a whole.  Instead, detailed
assessments have been made for key individual areas within a county,
such as this projection of water needs through 2050 for Verde Valley
in Yavapai County:

There are similar reports for other areas in both counties.  

Are the reports the type of thing you're looking for?  Or did you any
additional or summary information, beyond what is included in the
reports themselves.

Let us know how we can best help you here.


Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 06 Jun 2004 20:21 PDT
Well, being in TX, I guess I didn't really think of them as being that
big!  I have some land in Sedona, and am thinking about retiring
there, but I was concerned about the adequacy of water through my
lifetime.  I reviewed the info you sent on the Verde Valley Area,
which is where our land is located.  It does a good job of estimating
consumption, but I was really hoping for something that matched
consumption to ground water tables, annual rainfall, snow melt, etc,
to give an idea if the water supply is sustainable there.  Hope that

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 08 Jun 2004 08:53 PDT
It's hard to locate areas precisely on this map:

but it sure as heck looks like Sedona is smack dab in the middle of a
"high conflict" area regarding future water supplies.

I'll let you know if I find more detailed information on this topic.


Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 09 Jun 2004 18:19 PDT
The map is getting pretty close to what I'm looking for.  The data
that generated the map would be awfully interesting.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 09 Jun 2004 18:24 PDT
Glad to hear that.  I don't think the data is yet public (at least
what was used for making that map), but I'll put in some calls
tomorrow and see if I can shake anything loose.


Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 09 Jun 2004 19:18 PDT
Roger that, and thanks.  Will be away from the computer probably until
Monday, but will check back with you as soon as I can.  Have a good


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 12 Jun 2004 17:56 PDT
Just a bit of an update...I found the contact information for the
person who is the in-house expert on the Water 2025 map, but she
hasn't yet returned my call.  When we make contact, I hope to be able
to get the info that went into the preparation of the map itself.

Stay tuned...


Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 13 Jun 2004 18:30 PDT
Outstanding, and really good work.  I'll be waiting to hear from you.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 16 Jun 2004 17:12 PDT
Haven't forgotten you...or your question...but still no luck in
contacting the Water 2025 lady.  I'm working on it...

Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 16 Jun 2004 18:04 PDT
Not a problem.  I know how hard it can be to contact bureaucrats. 
Thanks for keeping me updated.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 28 Jun 2004 08:29 PDT

Still no luck.

The contact person at the US Bureau of Reclamation for the Water2025 project is

Eileen Salenik

You may want to give her a call yourself.  In the mean time, I'll
continue my digging around on this.


Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 28 Jun 2004 16:22 PDT
Don't you just love dealing with bureaucrats.  Appreciate the #, and
I'll give her a call.  If she can answer my question, I'll certainly
pay the fee.  Thanks again.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 29 Jun 2004 08:59 PDT
Well surprise, surprise.  Ms. Salenik gave me a call, and judging from
our conversation, she spoke with another caller -- you, I suppose --
about water in Sedona as well.

I was surprised at our conversation, as there seemed to be very little
concrete information she could offer as to how/why/on-what-basis the
map was coded as it was.

However, talking with her did produce some useful leads, including
this link to the Arizona Dept of Water Resources evaluation for a
Sedona development:

This might set your mind at ease, a bit.   There do seem to be
adequate local levels of water supply, at least according to this
particular letter.

I'm still looking to see what else might be out there, and I'll let
you know what I find.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 29 Jun 2004 09:16 PDT
Have a look at this link as well:

Prescott, in Yavapai County, isn't that far from Sedona, and is
currently considered to be a water overdraft area that is no longer at
"safe yield".  However, the actual management area for Prescott
extends mostly to the north, and does not include Sedona proper.

There's a lot of information here.   Let me know if it looks useful.

Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 29 Jun 2004 17:09 PDT
The letter about water adequacy in Sedona was in the ten ring, and the
info on Prescott provided a lot of links that I can pursue.  I did
speak to Ms. Salenik earlier today, and like you found that she
couldn't point me to much underlying info.  She probably felt like we
were ganging up on her.  Obviously, if you have run across anything
else I'd love to see it, but at this point I'm willing to pay you. 
How do I go about that?


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 29 Jun 2004 17:21 PDT
Hello beautex,

I'm glad to hear we're zeroing in on some useful information.  

You don't have to do anything at this point.  I'm still pursuing a few
more documents, and when I pull them together, I will post the
information I have as an answer to your question (rather than a
clarifing comment, such as this one).  At that point, your account
will be charged automatically.

This has turned out to be much tougher than I originally thought it
would be, but it's also been a good learning experience, so thanks for
the opportunity to work on your question.

Stay tuned...


Clarification of Question by beautex-ga on 29 Jun 2004 18:50 PDT
Got it.  Thanks.
Subject: Re: Arizona water supply
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 29 Jun 2004 19:43 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for your patience on was a tough one.

Here are some additional items that should be of interest to you as
they pertain to water supply issues in the Sedona area, now and in the
Yavapai County General Plan INFO-SHEET MAY, 2002

...Within the Prescott Active Management Area the average family size
is estimated at 2.5 persons per household, using approximately 1/4
acre-feet per household per year in new subdivisions with central
water systems. Households with individual, small wells are estimated
to consume approximately 1/3 acre-feet per year.

...The goal of ADWR?s 3rd Management Plan is to achieve ?safe yield?,
i.e. maintain a long-term balance between the annual amount of
groundwater withdrawn and the annual amount of natural and artificial
recharge in the PAMA, by the year 2025. Safe yield may be accomplished
through augmentation of water supplies from outside the PAMA
boundaries, by additional groundwater recharge of reclaimed water and
from increased conservation efforts. Municipal, industrial and
agricultural water users within the PAMA are monitored, while
individual ?exempt? wells are not. An exempt well is defined as having
less than 35 gallons per minute capacity. Within the PAMA, growth of
exempt wells has been rapid with 4200 wells in 1985, more than
doubling to 8700 wells by 1997. The number of exempt wells in Yavapai
County far exceeds that in all other Arizona Counties.

...The three watersheds, covering two thirds of Yavapai County, are
part of the Gila River Watershed, which extends south to the Mexico
Border. The Gila River Stream Adjudication, currently being resolved
in Arizona courts, is an approach to establish the extent, nature and
priority of all water users in the watershed. As an alternative
approach to litigation, negotiations have been undertaken to develop a
fair and reasonable settlement of the water rights of Federal
Reserves, including the Gila River Indian Community, and the State of
Arizona. The settlement, if approved, will allocate 1.03 million
acre-feet of water per year to ten Indian Tribes, almost as much water
as that consumed for statewide residential and industrial uses...

...Five cities and towns in the Verde Valley Area are preparing to
file with Yavapai County to protect water rights through selection of
fair standards in determining well impacts on surface water. Other
parties, cities and towns are also expected to file legal or
scientific briefs of their positions. The Yavapai County Water
Advisory Committee (WAC), a County-wide organization, is providing
recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on the Adjudication and
other water resources issues...


At this link:

you'll find an overview of the Verde River Watershed, in which Sedona
is located.  In addition to the brief overview itself, you should take
note of a number of reports and links available from this site.

In the upper right hand corner of the page is a box labeled "Watershed
Studies" that includes links to:

--Reconnaissance Watershed Analysis on Upper and Middle Verde Watershed 

--Additional Middle Verde River Basin Information 

--FY01 Upper & Middle Verde Study

--USGS Rural Watershed studies

The "Reconnaissance" report is a 122-pager with some interesting
details, including population projections for Sedona through the year
2030 (Table 4, page 23); and a discussion of "subwatershds" near
Sedona (page 115).

At the bottom of the overview page is another link to the Verde River
Watershed Study:

The study itself is not available online, but can be purchased from
the Arizona Department of Water Resources, who describes the study
this way:


Verde River Watershed Study 
 The Verde River Watershed Study is a comprehensive analysis of the
water resources within the Verde River basin. The study area is
located in Central Arizona and covers parts of Yavapai, Coconino, and
Gila counties. The Verde River basin covers approximately 5,500 square
miles and is divided into the Big Chino, Verde Valley, and Verde
Canyon sub-basins. This study presents the current and historical
surface and groundwater supplies, municipal, industrial, agricultural,
and other water demands, natural and artificial recharge and effluent
supplies and demands. Water budgets were also developed and are
presented for five specific geographic regions within the study area
to evaluate the hydrologic components of the watershed and to
determine the current status of the groundwater system...


Although I've traveled through numerous parts of Arizona, I haven't
been to Sedona myself, but I have heard from friends that it is
magnificent country.  I hope the information here will help you make a
wise decision regarding its place in your future.

Before rating this answer, please let me know if you need any
additional information.  Just post a Request for Clarification to let
me know how I can help, and I'm at your service (but probably not for
the next few days, as I'll be on travel).

All the best,


search strategy:  Google search on:  

[ sedona "water plan" ]
[ sedona "safe yield" ]
[ "verde river" "safe yield" ]
beautex-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Great service.  I was very satisfied.

Subject: Re: Arizona water supply
From: pafalafa-ga on 13 Jul 2004 18:02 PDT

Thanks so much.  This was a tricky question, so I'm glad to hear the
results worked out to your liking.

I have very fond memories of my last trip to Arizona.  Perhaps I'll
bump into you in Sedona one of these days...


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