We hear that the real estate market is coming back, home prices are rising, construction is picking up, building permits are escalating and developers are requesting unit density increases. At the same time, we read of a water shortage developing in the Prescott and Verdi Valley areas. There is an article in the Courier practically every week on the subject.
As an example the Granite Dells project is requesting a doubling of homes in the same space approved a few years ago; increasing from 710 units to 1310 units. The town insists on plans for roads and services, but none for water availability. On average a person consumes 40 gallons of water a day and if we assume an average of three persons per home the Granite Dells development will consume 157,200 gallons of water a day not including irrigation needs. All the Dells article comments received by the Courier asked the question: Who is addressing the water issue – is anybody? If we add up all the additional residential and commercial permits listed in the Courier each week the increased consumption is significant.
If the issue is not addressed, current residents will be faced with water bans and restrictions and generally an uncomfortable life as it revolves around water availability. One recommendation is that before a major development is approved the developer and the water management authority provide a water availability plan to the building department. Depending on how many general permits are being issued the water authority provides a similar ongoing water plan to the council. It is criminal to allow uncontrolled expansion of population if you cannot see a way of providing sustainable life supporting resources.
Water is a life-giving and sustaining resource to residents in the Prescott area, and one that needs to be visibly addressed by the powers that be. Voice your opinions to he Courier and may be the Courier will continue to take a leadership role in obtaining answers from town and county officials!
This letter by me published in the Prescott Courier 6/17/13 http://prescottaz.com/main.asp?SectionID=36&SubSectionID=1119&ArticleID=120291