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Water Resource Issues in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area - Surveys

A number of water resource issues have been identified in the planning area by community groups, through the distribution of surveys, and from other sources.  Areas covered in this section include Surveys, Watershed Groups and Studies, Planning and Conservation,and Tribal Issues.


The Department conducted a rural water resources survey in 2003 to compile information to provide to the public and help identify the needs of communities. This survey was also intended to gather information on drought impacts to incorporate into the Arizona Drought Preparedness Plan, adopted in 2004.  Questionnaires were sent to almost 600 water providers, jurisdictions, counties and tribes.  A report of the findings from the survey was completed in 2004 (ADWR, 2004).

Thirty-seven water providers and jurisdictions in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area responded to the survey and of these, 23 ranked issues.  Respondents were asked to rank eighteen issues which can be compressed into three categories: infrastructure, water supply and water quality.  In the planning area, both infrastructure and water supply issues were ranked among the top five issues by a majority of respondents.  In addition, a majority of respondents noted at least one drought impact.  Primary drought impacts noted were increased demand, increased peak demand and lowered groundwater levels.

The Department conducted another, more concise survey of water providers in 2004.  This was done to supplement the information gathered in the previous year in support of developing the Arizona Water Atlas, and to reach a wider audience by directly contacting each water provider. Through this effort, 44 water providers in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area, with a total of approximately 46,500 service connections, were willing to participate and provide information on water supply, demand, infrastructure and to rank a list of seven issues.

In the 2004 survey, water providers were asked to rank issues from 0 to 4 with 0 = no concern, 1 = minor concern, 2 = moderate concern and 3 = major concern. Of the 44 water providers that responded to the survey, 39 ranked issues. These respondents include most of the largest water providers in the planning area including City of Flagstaff, City of Holbrook, City of Show Low, Town of Snowflake, Winslow Municipal Water and Doney Park Water Company. Although responses to the 2003 questionnaire are not directly comparable to the 2004 survey due to differences in the form and wording of the surveys, responses to the same issues are similar as shown in Table 2.0-14.

Table 2.0-14 Water Resources Issues Ranked by Survey Respondents in the Eastern Plateau Planning Area
Issue Percent of 2003 respondents that ranked issue as one of the top 5 (of 18) Percent of 2004 respondents reporting issue was a moderate or major concern
Inadequate storage capacity to meet peak demand 39 31
Inadequate well capacity to meet peak demand  26 28
Inadequate water supplies to meet current demand 17 13
Inadequate water supplies to meet future demand 39 31
Infrastructure in need of replacement 52 49
Inadequate capital to pay for infrastructure improvements 43 56
Drought related water supply problems 35 26


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