Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Water Adequacy

Coconino County will be initiating a stakeholder outreach for a draft ordinance regarding water adequacy issues. AZ Senate Bill 1575 requires proof of water adequacy for future subdivision development. We already have this program in the urban areas of Arizona-called Active Management Areas where developers, water providers or municipalities need to prove 100 year water supply for development to occur.

The County Board of Supervisors must vote on whether to assume authority over the equivalent for rural areas. The twist to this ordinance will be that it only involves subdivisions. Much development that occurs in the county are lot splits. There is also debate of whether there would be a water hauling exemption. If the county does not adopt this unanimously, the cities within the county can choose to adopt it. If it does not get adopted than it is business as usual (growth without consideration of our water supply).

The pro to this bill is that it is a consumer protection measure. Current and future residents would have assurance that there would be at least a 100 year supply of water associated with growth.

The con is that this is not a growth management measure despite what we would think to be true. Developers want the stamp of approval and will seek out communities that can prove water adequacy. Without it, their development will be deemed inadequate.

This is a very complex ordinance and outreach will begin soon. We need F3 input. For more information on specifics, contact Cynthia at 556-8663.

Give us your thoughts or questions!!!

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