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Cultural Water Demand in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area - Municipal Demand

Cultural water demand includes: Tribal, Municipal, Agricultural and Industrial. Municipal Demand is discussed below

View of NAU

View of Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University.

Flagstaff is the largest municipal water

demand center in the planning area.

Municipal Demand

The primary municipal water demand centers in the planning area are located at Flagstaff, Winslow/Holbrook, Page and in the White Mountain/Mogollon Rim communities of Eagar, Pinetop-Lakeside, Heber-Overgaard, Show Low, Snowflake, Springerville, St. Johns and Taylor. Demand centers are discussed briefly below. Estimated water demand served by public and private water providers is shown in Table 2.0-8 for each water demand center.  Reported water withdrawals and deliveries for all community water systems in the planning area in 2006 and 2007 are found in Appendix BFor additional information, including 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. Effluent is used for municipal purposes by Flagstaff, Page and Holbrook for golf course, urban irrigation and for industrial purposes.

Table 2.0-8 Municipal Water Demand in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area 2006 (in acre-feet)

  Groundwater Surface Water Effluent Total
Water Provider        
Flagstaff Area 7,700 1,600 2,300


Forest Lakes

900 0 37
Page 0 2,250 770
Saint Johns/Concho 800 0 0
Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside/Vernon 4,200 0 0
Snowflake-Taylor 2,400 0 300
Springerville/Eagar 900 100 0
Winslow/Holbrook 2,600 0 185
Total Water Provider 19,500 3,950 3,555
Domestic/Self-supplied  7,000 0 0
Hopi Reservation 540 160 0
Navajo Nation 10,500 NR 0
Total Municipal 37,540 4,110 3,555
Source: ADWR Community Water Systems 2006 Annual Reports, USGS 2008

An estimate of water demand associated with domestic/self-supplied wells is also listed in Table 2.0-8.  This demand is difficult to estimate.  A population-based estimate rather than an estimate based on the number of domestic wells was used due to uncertainties regarding whether wells drilled are currently functioning.  Water hauling is also common in unincorporated areas around Flagstaff and on the Navajo Reservation. 

Municipal water demand is primarily residential and commercial.  Demand varies seasonally in some communities due to tourism and summer-only landscape watering.  Because of the higher elevation, shorter growing season, higher rainfall and rural nature of many parts of the planning area, outdoor landscape watering is typically lower than that in the lower elevation, drier parts of the state.  There have been significant conservation efforts in the Flagstaff area.  Some of these programs target outdoor water use and landscape design, e.g., rebates for replacement of high water use landscaping. Estimated per capita usage in Flagstaff is 116 gallons per capita per day (GPCD), which is lower than many cities in Arizona (City of Flagstaff, 2009).  Public municipal systems serve the majority of water demand in the planning area.  Non-Indian large utility systems that served more than 500 acre-feet of water in 2006 are listed in Table 2.0-9.

Table 2.0-9 Water providers serving more than

500 acre-feet in 2006

Water Provider







Arizona Water Company-Lakeside 597 897 792
Arizona Water Company-Overgaard 183 337 503
Doney Park Water 455 737 781
Eager Municipal Water 680 781 668
Flagstaff, City of 8,172 9,927 8,485
Holbrook, City of 1,166 956 790
Page Municipal 2,740 2,740 2,250
Show Low Municipal 830 1,205 1,485
St. Johns Municipal 558 757 662
Snowflake, Town of 872 1,323 1,416
Taylor, Town of 445 721 870
Winslow Municipal 2,000 1,863 1,744
Source: Community Water System 2006 Annual Reports, USGS 2007

Estimated demand and water supply for all golf courses in the planning area is shown in Table 2.0-10. Golf course demand is estimated to be approximately 4,500 acre-feet a year, of which approximately 2,700 acre-feet of groundwater, surface water and effluent is served from the Flagstaff municipal system comprising approximately 6% of the total municipal demand. Four golf courses, Aspen Valley, Continental and Pine Canyon in Flagstaff, and Hidden Cove Country Club in Holbrook use 100% effluent from a municipal source. The remaining 1,800 acre-feet of golf course demand is served from a facility well or surface water diversion and is considered an industrial demand in the Atlas.

Table 2.0-10 Golf Courses in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area
Facility # of Holes Demand (acre-feet) Water Supply
Aspen Valley and Continental Golf Courses (Flagstaff)
36 1078
Bison Golf Course - Show Low 1&2*
18 150
Concho Valley Country Club*
18 88/87
Groundwater/Surface Water
Flagstaff Ranch
18 88/22
Greer Lakes Golf Resort*
18 150
Hidden Cove (Holbrook)
9 75
Juniper Ridge RV Resort* (Show Low)
9 75
Lake Powell National Golf Club (Page)
18 719/46
Effluent/Surface Water
Pine Canyon (Flagstaff)
18 330
Pine Meadows Country Club (Overgaard)
9 75
Pinetop Country Club*
18 150
Pinetop Lakes Golf & Country Club*
18 125
River Run Golf Course* (Eagar)
18 150
Silver Creek Golf Club* (Show Low)
18 441
Snowflake Municipal
27 225
Torreon Golf Club* (Show Low)
36 300
White Mountain Country Club* (Pinetop)
18 150
*Industrial course

Flagstaff Area

A number of water systems serve the Flagstaff area including the City of Flagstaff, Doney Park Water and Flagstaff Ranch. The nearby communities of Kachina Village, Mountainaire, and Forest Highlands are located in the Verde River Basin. The City of Flagstaff is by far the largest provider in the entire planning area, with a potable demand of 8,500 acre-feet in 2006. It also delivered another 2,300 acre-feet of effluent for irrigation and industrial use.

As  mentioned previously, the water supply for Flagstaff has become more diversified, with recent investment in additional groundwater development. It also continues to expand its reclaimed water system and recruit new reclaimed water customers. The city offers reduced water rates for reclaimed water use, rebates for the cost of a connection to the reclaimed system and provides reclaimed water hauling locations to users in several areas. Northern Arizona University is the largest water customer in Flagstaff, comprising about 8-10 percent of the annual demand (Pinkham and Davis, 2002).

Flagstaff outskirts

Outskirts of Flagstaff.  A number of water systems serve the Flagstaff area including the City of Flagstaff, Doney Park Water and Flagstaff Ranch.

The other large provider in the Flagstaff area is Doney Park Water, which serves groundwater to unincorporated communities known as Doney Park, Timberline and Fernwood located primarily east of Highway 89, and Cosnino and Winona located southeast of Doney Park along the Townsend-Winona Road. Doney Park Water also provides standpipe services. The Doney Park Water service area is not expected to expand significantly.  Water users in the area are not connected to a centralized wastewater system and use on-site wastewater treatment such as septic systems (Pinkham and Davis, 2002). In 2006, Doney Park Water served almost 800 acre-feet of groundwater pumped from six wells to primarily single family residences (97% of deliveries).

Flagstaff Ranch is a growing, 850-acre development west of Flagstaff that includes a residential community, golf course and a business park. Flagstaff Ranch Water Company serves the residential development and provides standpipe services. In 2006 it withdrew about 50 acre-feet of groundwater. Separate wells provide irrigation water to the golf course, which is supplemented with effluent. (Pinkham and Davis, 2002)

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Heber-Overgaard/Forest Lakes

The adjacent, unincorporated communities of Heber and Overgaard, with a combined population of approximately 3,600, are located in southern Navajo County along Highway 260. In 2007 Arizona Water Company withdrew about 500 acre-feet of groundwater from five wells to serve Overgaard. In 2007 Heber Domestic Water District withdrew about 140 acre-feet of water from three wells to serve Heber. Neither community has a centralized wastewater treatment system. The Bison Ranch master planned community east of Overgaard is served by a private wastewater treatment plant. 

Forest Lakes is a primarily summer/vacation home community located west of Heber-Overgaard.  In 2006 the Forest Lakes Water Improvement District pumped 235 acre-feet of water to serve over 800 single-family residences and a small number of commercial customers.

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City of Page, Lake Powell National Golf Course.  In 2006, the City of Page received 2,250 acre-feet from the USBOR and delivered 1,898 acre-feet to Page and 97 acre-feet to LeChee. In addition, 719 acre-feet of effluent was delivered to the golf course.


The City of Page began as a housing camp in 1957 for the construction of Lake Powell. Incorporated in 1975, its population is now over 9,000. The city provides all water services to Page and to the adjacent community of LeChee on the Navajo Nation.  All water used is from Lake Powell through a contract with the USBOR.  Considering return flow credits to the Lake, Page is entitled to about 3,300 AFA. Water is withdrawn via intakes on the dam and pumped 1,200 feet uphill to the city’s treatment plant. Some untreated water goes directly to the 27-hole municipal golf course. Page plans to increase its water storage capacity and is looking to improve system reliability since it relies on a single pipeline from the Lake Powell intakes. It is also considering well development to provide backup to the surface water system.  Most of Page is served by a centralized wastewater treatment system (Pinkham and Davis, 2002). In 2006, the City of Page received 2,250 acre-feet from the USBOR and delivered 1,898 acre-feet to Page and 97 acre-feet to LeChee. In addition, 719 acre-feet of effluent was delivered to the Lake Powell National Golf Course.

St. Johns/Concho

Saint Johns is the Apache County seat and home to over 3,800 residents. It is served by the Saint Johns Municipal water system, which withdrew about 660 acre-feet of water from two wells in 2006, and by the Saint Johns WWTP. The nearby Coronado Generating Station, a coal fired power plant operated by the Salt River Project, is a major employer. The unincorporated community of Concho is located about 18 miles west of Saint Johns. It consists of the original town of “Old Concho” and the master planned community of Concho Valley, which includes the Concho Valley Golf Course and Concho Lake. Livco Water and Sewer Company provides water and sewer service in Concho Valley. In 2006 it delivered about 100 acre-feet of groundwater to Concho Valley and 12 acre-feet to Old Concho Water Users, which serves Old Concho.

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Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside

The second largest demand center in the planning area with an annual demand of 6,500 acre-feet, the Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside area had a combined population of about 15,100 residents in 2006. The area is a popular tourism and recreation destination. The primary water providers in Show Low are the City of Show Low, Pineview Water Company and Fools Hollow-Park Valley Water Company. The City of Show Low water utility serves about 80% of the city’s approximately 11,000 residents.  It withdraws water from the C-aquifer at depths of between 540 to over 600 feet bls (City of Show Low, 2007). In 2006 it withdrew almost 1,500 acre-feet of groundwater from eight wells and delivered three acre-feet to Pineview Water Company.  About 900 acre-feet of effluent was treated at the Show Low Wastewater Treatment Plant and delivered to a series of created wetlands including Pintail Lake, Redhead Marsh and Telephone Lake. In 2006, Pineview Water Company withdrew about 335 acre-feet of water from four wells for single family and commercial uses. Fools Hollow-Park Valley Water Company withdrew about 185 acre-feet from two wells to serve primarily single-family customers. It also serves Fools Hollow State Park.

The communities of Pinetop and Lakeside incorporated as one in 1984. The town of about 4,600 residents (2006) is primarily served by four water providers; Arizona Water Company-Lakeside, Ponderosa Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID), Pinetop Water Community Facilities District (CFD) and Arizona Water Company-Pinetop Lakes, that together served almost 2,000 acre-feet of groundwater in 2006. Arizona Water Company-Lakeside withdrew 792 acre-feet from five wells to serve primarily residential customers. The next largest provider, Ponderosa DWID withdrew 484 acre-feet of water from seven wells to serve primarily single family customers and turf. Turf deliveries were 86 acre-feet in 2006 and 176 acre-feet in 2007. Pinetop CFD serves almost equal volumes of water to residential and commercial users. In 2006 it withdrew 468 acre-feet of groundwater from five wells. Arizona Water Company-Pinetop Lakes serves residential customers from two wells. In 2006 it withdrew 208 acre-feet of water. The communities are also served by a number of small water providers. Area wells tap both the deep Coconino aquifer and the shallower Pinetop-Lakeside aquifer. New water provider wells are generally developed in the Coconino aquifer while the shallower aquifer is a substantial source of domestic water (Pinetop-Lakeside, 2004).

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Snowflake and Taylor are adjacent, incorporated towns located along Silver Creek in southeastern Navajo County. Each is served by municipal water and sewer systems. The largest industry in the area is the Catalyst Paper Mill located about 15 miles west of Snowflake/Taylor. Other local industries include a large hog feedlot operation, a 20-acre hydroponic tomato greenhouse, cattle grazing and farming. The population of Snowflake was about 5,180 in 2006 when the city utility served 1,416 acre-feet of water from four wells to about 1,640 connections. Wells are located in the C-aquifer with water levels generally between 100-400 ft bls.  Reportedly, expansion of both the water and wastewater systems is needed. Treated effluent from the Snowflake WWTP is stored in a pond for irrigating agricultural fields. In 2006 about 300 acre-feet of effluent was delivered to a hay field (Town of Snowflake, 2007). Taylor, with a 2006 population of 4,270, withdrew 871 acre-feet from two active wells. Of this total, 222 acre-feet was delivered to turf and “other” including parks and streetscapes.

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The incorporated communities of Springerville and Eagar are located in Round Valley at the edge of the White Mountains in southern Apache County. They have a combined population of over 6,600 with 4,530 residents in Eagar and 2,125 residents in Springerville in 2006. Both communities are served by municipal water and wastewater utilities. The nearby Tucson Electric Power Springerville Generating Station is a major area employer.  Springerville served 291 acre-feet of groundwater to residential and commercial customers from seven wells in 2006. Eagar’s water supply comes from seven wells and a spring. Water use averages 150,000 gallons per day in the winter to one mgd in the summer. Peak demand exceeds well pump capacity and the town is planning construction of two new wells. Approximately 60% of the town is connected to a centralized sewer system. Wastewater from the Eagar WWTP is provided for crop irrigation (Town of Eagar, 2002). In 2006, Eagar withdrew 595 acre-feet of groundwater from six wells and diverted 105 acre-feet of surface water. It delivered 98 acre-feet of effluent for agricultural use.

Round Valley

Round Valley - Springerville/Eager.  Springerville served 291 acre-feet of groundwater in 2006 and Eagar withdrew 595 acre-feet of groundwater and diverted 105 acre-feet of surface water. Eager also delivered 98 acre-feet of effluent for agricultural use.


These two relatively large communities are located in the Little Colorado River Valley in Navajo County. Holbrook, with a 2006 population of about 5,600, is the county seat. Both communities are served by municipal water systems. The Arizona Public Service Cholla Power Plant is located near Holbrook and is a major area employer. Holbrook withdraws water from the C-aquifer from six wells. In 2006 it withdrew 790 acre-feet of groundwater. Holbrook’s sewer system serves customers in and around the city.  The Painted Mesa WWTP treats an average of 0.5 mgd and effluent is reused for agricultural irrigation and for irrigation of the Hidden Cove Golf Course. Located west of Holbrook, Winslow is larger, with a 2006 population of over 10,100. Municipal groundwater is pumped from six wells located southwest of the city. In 2006 it withdrew 1,744 acre-feet of groundwater and diverted 2,000 acre-feet from Clear Creek.  Diversions from Clear Creek are for non-municipal uses, primarily recreation. Another approximately 1,000 acre-feet of effluent from the Winslow WWTP was delivered for agricultural irrigation of a farm leased by the city for non-dairy forage crops.

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