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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters August 19, 2014

1/3/2013 1:05:00 PM
Letter: Water committee is starting to resemble U.S. Congress


Why does the sparring within the Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee sound a lot like Republicans and Democrats in Congress digging in their heels and refusing to compromise to avoid the “fiscal cliff”?

Are political interests, instead of the greater good of the whole, the real reason why they can’t agree to utilize a solid scientific tool to make unbiased water management decisions? The USGS Groundwater Flow Model may not be perfect but it is within a 5-percent error. That is not a significant amount and not a valid excuse for denying its usefulness.

There may be a mountain between the Verde Valley and Prescott and Prescott Valley but we all share an aquifer that is unique in the state of Arizona. Regardless of which side of the mountain you live on, it is not an infinite resource.

Groundwater withdrawal has already resulted in the death of Del Rio Creek before it reaches the Verde River and what used to be the headwaters of the Verde River are now about five miles downstream. Will the Verde River retreat farther downstream and are Oak Creek, Wet Beaver Creek and other tributaries to the Verde River in jeopardy as was Granite Creek? Sadly, the answer is yes.

The Verde Valley does need to look at the uncontrolled growth of private wells and the water waste associated with irrigation ditches. But, Prescott and the Prescott Valley have to ask themselves what the negative impacts would be of a Verde Valley that is no longer green.

Just like the U.S. Congress, the two sides of the mountain don’t have the option of going their separate ways. We all share the same water destiny and we need the leadership that the Water Advisory Committee can provide to find the best route to protect our water resources for present and future generations.

Carol M. Grieshaber


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