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Cultural Water Demand in the Upper San Pedro 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 3.13-7.  Effluent generation including facility ownership, location, population served and not served, volume treated, disposal method and treatment level is shown on Table 3.13-8.  Figure 3.13-10 shows the location of demand centers.  A description of cultural water demand data sources and methods is found in Volume 1, Appendix A.  More detailed information on cultural water demand is found in Section 3.0.7. For 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

  • Population has increased by about 1,200 residents a year from 1980 to 2000. 

  • This basin includes the largest population as well as the fastest growing population in the planning area.

  • Total groundwater use increased from 1971 to 1985 and remained relatively constant until 2000.  Groundwater use has recently declined with an average of 29,100 AFA in the period from 2001-2005.

  • Total current surface water diversions are estimated to be comparable to historic diversion volumes with approximately 4,300 AFA diverted in the period from 1991 – 2005. However, actual diversions have not been consistently reported.

  • Over 90% of the surface water diversions are for agriculture, however, over 75% of the agricultural water supply is groundwater.

  • The majority of agricultural lands are in the vicinity of Benson.

  • Most high intensity municipal and industrial demand is found near the population centers of Sierra Vista, Benson, Tombstone and Bisbee. 

  • Municipal demand constitutes over half the total groundwater use in the period from 1996-2005.

  • There is one large inactive mine, the Copper Queen, in the vicinity of Bisbee, and at least two sand and gravel pits in the vicinity of Sierra Vista.  All industrial water supply is groundwater.

  • As of 2005 there were 5,021 registered wells with a pumping capacity of less than or equal to 35 gpm and 1,106 wells with a pumping capacity of more than 35 gpm.

Effluent Generation

  • Refer to Table 3.13-8.
  • There are nine wastewater treatment facilities in the basin. 

  • Eight of these facilities serve communities and one is used for industrial purposes.

  • The three former Bisbee wastewater facilities were recently consolidated into one new facility at San Jose.  This new treatment facility has the capacity to treat 0.81 million gallons of wastewater per day.

  • Over 56,000 people are served by these facilities, which generate more than 5,200 acre-feet of effluent per year.

  • Two facilities discharged wastewater for irrigation in 2002 or 2003 but recent treatment facility consolidations in Bisbee will affect disposal methods.

  • Three facilities discharge wastewater for golf course irrigation.

  • Discharge from two facilities recharges the aquifer. Both are designed for the purpose of groundwater recharge.  The Sierra Vista facility is permitted by the Department as an Underground Storage Facility and the Fort Huachuca Facility is not.

Click to view Table 3.13-7

Click to view Table 3.13-7 Cultural Water Demand in the Upper San Pedro Basin

Click to view Table 3.13-8

Click to view Table 3.13-8 Effluent Generation in the Upper San Pedro Basin

Click to view Figure 3.13-11

Click to view Figure 3.13-11 Upper San Pedro BasinCultural Water Demand



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