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Population of the Eastern Plateau Planning Area

Census data for 2000 show a total of almost 250,000 residents in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area. Arizona Department of Commerce population projections forecast a population of more than 378,000 by 2030. The 2000 Census populations for the planning area and Indian reservations are shown in  Table 2.0-4.  In 2000 about 55% of the planning area population resided in the non-reservation portion. The Navajo Reservation population comprises approximately 42% of the planning area population.

Table 2.0-4 2000 Census Population of the Little

Colorado River Plateau and Indian Reservations

Basin/Reservation 2000 Census Population
Little Colorado River Plateau
Navajo 104,565
Hopi 6,946
San Juan Southern Paiute 265
Zuni NA

       NA= Not Available

Shown in Table 2.0-5 are incorporated and unincorporated communities in the planning area with 2000 Census populations greater than 1,000 and growth rates for two time periods.  Communities are listed from highest to lowest population in 2000. Flagstaff is by far the largest community in the planning area with 38% of the non-tribal population. There are a number of rapidly growing larger communities including Flagstaff, Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and Taylor.  Some communities grew more rapidly between 2000 and 2006 than during the previous ten year period. There are also rapidly growing communities on the Navajo Reservation, with high growth rates in a number communities including Kaibito, Lukachukai and Pinon.

Table 2.0-5 Communities with a Census population greater than 1,000 (listed by 2000 population)

Communities 1990 Census Pop. 2000 Census Pop. Percent Change 1990-2000 2006 Pop. Estimate* Percent Change 2000-2006 Projected 2030 Pop.
Flagstaff 45,857 52,894 15.3% 62,030 17.3% 83,746
Winslow 9,279 9,520 2.6% 9,945 4.5% 11,706
Tuba City 7,323 8,225 12.3% 8,899 8.2% 10,572
Show Low 5,020 7,695 53.3% 10,555 37.2% 19,625
Window Rock/ Fort Defiance 7,795 7,120 -8.6% 7,120 0.0% 7,120
Page 6,598 6,809 3.2% 7,230 6.2% 8,027
Chinle 5,059 5,366 6.1% 5,524 2.9% 6,086
Kayenta 4,372 4,922 12.6% 5,186 5.4% 6,701
Holbrook 4,686 4,917 4.9% 5,455 10.9% 7,684
Snowflake 3,679 4,460 21.2% 5,180 16.1% 7,048
Eager 4,025 4,033 0.2% 4,530 12.3% 6,252
Pinetop-Lakeside 2,422 3,582 47.9% 4,540 26.7% 6,758
Taylor 2,418 3,176 31.3% 4,270 34.4% 8,210
St. Johns 3,294 3,269 -0.8% 3,925 20.1% 6,559
Heber-Overgaard  1,581 2,722 72.2% 3,596 32.1% 6,642
Springerville 1,802 1,972 9.4% 2,125 7.8% 2,485
Kaibito 641 1,607 150.7% 2,337 45.4% 4,149
LeChee NA 1,606 -- 2,725 69.7% 5,504
Lukachukai 113 1,565 1284.9% 1,669 6.7% 2,041
Many Farms 1,294 1,548 19.6% 1,678 8.4% 2,143
Ganado  1,257 1,505 19.7% 1,633 8.5% 2,087
St. Michaels 1,119 1,295 15.7% 1,386 7.0% 1,708
First Mesa/Polacca 1,108 1,124 1.4% 1,124 0.0% 1,124
Dilkon NA 1,265 -- 1,541 21.8% 2,501
Pinon 468 1,190 154.3% 1,543 29.6% 2,772
Tsaile 1,043 1,078 3.3% 1,096 1.7% 1,161
Total > 1000 122,253 144,465 18.2% 166,841 13.4% 230,411
Remainder of Planning Area
87,201 105,080 20.5% 112,513 7.1% 147,981
Total Planning Area 209,454 249,545 19.1% 279,354 11.9% 378,392

*2006 population shown is the 2006 estimate for incorporated areas and the 2006 projection for unincorporated areas.

Population Growth and Water Use

Arizona has limited mechanisms to address the connections between land use, population growth and water supply.  A legislative attempt to link growth and water management planning is the Growing Smarter Plus Act of 2000 (Act) which requires that counties with a population greater than 125,000 (2000 Census) include planning for water resources in their comprehensive plans. In 2000, none of the counties in the planning area had populations greater than 125,000 residents. The Act also requires that twenty-three communities outside AMAs include a water resources element in their general plans.  In the Eastern Plateau Planning Area this requirement applies to the communities of Flagstaff, Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low, Snowflake and Taylor, which have all completed plans.  Plans must consider water demand and water resource availability in conjunction with growth, land use and infrastructure.  Completed plans are listed in basin references in this volume and may contain useful information for water resources planning.

Beginning in 2007, all community water systems in the state were required to submit Annual Water Use Reports and System Water Plans. The reports and plans are intended to reduce community water systems’ vulnerability to drought, and to promote water resource planning to ensure that water providers are prepared to respond to water shortage conditions.  In addition, the information will allow the State to provide regional planning assistance to help communities prepare for, mitigate and respond to drought.  An Annual Water Use Report must be submitted each year by the systems that includes information on water pumped, diverted and received, water delivered to customers and effluent used or received. The System Water Plan must be updated and submitted every five years and consist of three components, a Water Supply Plan, a Drought Preparedness Plan and a Water Conservation Plan. By January 1, 2008, all systems were required to submit plans. By the end of 2008, plans have been submitted by 61 community water systems in the planning area.  Almost all of the larger systems submitted plans and these plans were used to prepare this document. Annual water report information and a list of water plans is found in Appendix B.  For more information see the Department's community systems water webpage.

The Department’s Water Adequacy Program also connects water supply and demand to growth to some extent, but does not control growth.  Developers of subdivisions outside of AMAs are required to obtain a determination of whether there is sufficient water of adequate quality available for 100 years.  If the supply is inadequate, lots may still be sold, but the condition of the water supply must be disclosed in promotional materials and in sales documents.  Legislation adopted in June 2007 (SB 1575), authorizes a county board of supervisors to adopt a provision, by unanimous vote, which requires a new subdivision to have an adequate water supply in order for the subdivision to be approved by the platting authority.  If the county does not adopt the provision, the legislation allows a city or town to adopt a local ordinance that requires a demonstration of adequacy. By the end of 2008, none of the counties or jurisdictions in the planning area had adopted the new provision.


City of Flagstaff.  The Planning Area has 14 designated water providers under the water adequacy program.

Subdivision adequacy determinations (Water Adequacy Reports), including the reason for the inadequate determination, are provided in Table 2.1-10 and their location is shown on Figure 2.1-12. Also shown are approved applications for an Analysis of Adequate Water Supply (AAWS). This application is typically associated with large, master planned communities. As of December, 2008, two AAWS applications had been approved in the planning area with a total of 1,936 lots.

The service areas of 14 water providers in the planning area have been designated as having an adequate water supply.  Designation information and the general location of the service area are also shown in Table 2.1-10 and Figure 2.1-11.  If a subdivision is served by one of these designated water providers, a separate adequacy determination is not required.  As of December, 2008 these included:

  • Apache County
    • Town of Springerville
    • City of St. Johns
  • Coconino County
    • City of Flagstaff
    • City of Page
  • Navajo County
    • City of Holbrook
    • City of Show Low
    • Town of Taylor
    • City of Winslow
    • Arizona Water Company, Lakeside and Pinetop
    • Town of Snowflake
    • Fools Hollow Water Company (Show Low)
    • Park Valley Water Company (Show Low)
    • Pineview Water Company (Show Low)
    • Voyager at White Mountain Lakes Water Co. (Show Low)


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