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Securing Arizona's Water Future

Cultural Water Demand in the Little Colorado River Plateau Basin

Cultural water demand data including population, number of wells, and the average well pumpage and surface water diversions by the municipal, industrial and agricultural sectors are shown in Table 2.1-8.  Effluent generation including facility ownership, location, population served and not served, volume treated, disposal method and treatment level is shown in Table 2.1-9.  Figure 2.1-11 shows the location of demand centers.  For a description of cultural water demand data sources and methods see Volume 1, Appendix A.  For additional information on cultural water demands in the Eastern Plateau Planning area see Section 2.0.7-Cultural Water Demand OverviewFor information on gpcd and annual water demand by individual community water systems in this basin see ADWR's Community Water System Program annual water use reporting summary.

Cultural Water Demand

  • Refer to Table 2.1-8 and Figure 2.1-11.
  • Population increased by an average of 3,700 people per year between 1980 and 2000.
  • Total groundwater pumping is increasing with an average of 104,800 acre-feet pumped per year in the period from 2001-2005.
  • Total surface water diversions are estimated to be comparable to historic diversion volumes with 50,800 acre-feet diverted per year in the period from 2001-2005.  Municipal surface water diversions, however appear to be declining.
  • Approximately 4,000 acre-feet of surface water is diverted per year for municipal use
  • Most high intensity municipal and industrial (M&I) use is found in the population centers of Flagstaff, Page, Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside, Taylor/Snowflake and Winslow/Holbrook.
  • Industrial use has remained relatively constant with an average of 83,100 acre-feet of surface water and groundwater used per year during the 2001-2005 period.
  • Approximately two-thirds of the industrial water supply is groundwater.
  • Location of power plants and mines are shown on Figure 2.1-11 including the extent of the large Black Mesa and Kayenta coal mines south of Kayenta.  Power plants/electrical generating stations are Cholla near Joseph City, Coronado near St. Johns, Navajo at Page and the Springerville power plant located northeast of Springerville.
  • Agricultural use is estimated to have declined slightly since 1991
  • The large agricultural area northeast of Heber is pasture irrigated with wastewater from the Catalyst paper mill, an industrial user.

Effluent Generation

  • Refer to Table 2.1-9.
  • There are 60 known wastewater treatment facilities in the basin.
  • The population served appears to be overestimated for the basin as a whole.  Multiple databases were used to compile the effluent generation information and may contain flawed population estimates and outdated information.
  • More than 36,000 acre-feet of effluent per year are generated in the basin.  Almost a third of this volume is generated by a single facility, the Catalyst paper mill.
  • Eight facilities discharge waste water for irrigation.
  • Effluent is used to irrigate five golf courses.  More than 20 schools, parks and other locations use effluent in Flagstaff.
  • Thirteen facilities discharge effluent to unlined impoundments that recharge the aquifer.

Click to view Table 2.1-8

Click to view Table 2.1-8 Cultural Water Demand in the Little Colorado River Plateau Basin

Click to view Table 2.1-9

Click to view Table 2.1-9 Effluent Generation in the Little Colorado River Plateau Basin

Click to view Figure 2.1-11

Click to view Figure 2.1-11 Little Colorado River Plateau Basin Cultural Water Demands

 

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