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Cultural Water Demand in the Upper Colorado River Planning Area - Municipal Demand

Water use by sector

Figure 4.0-17 Cultural Water Demand by Sector in the Upper Colorado River Planning Area 2001-2005 (in acre-feet)

Cultural water demand in the Upper Colorado River Planning Area is shown in Figure 4.0-17.  As shown, agricultural demand is the largest use sector at approximately 99,550 AFA due almost entirely to farming in the Lake Mohave Basin. Municipal demand is the next largest water demand sector with approximately 52,400 AFA met primarily by groundwater.  Industrial demand, mainly for mining, is about 22,100 AFA.  Total demand averaged approximately 174,100 AFA during the period from 2001-2005. 

Municipal Demand

Average municipal demand for 2001-2005 was about 52,400 AFA; 32% of the total cultural water demand.  Municipal water demand is summarized by groundwater basin and water supply in Table 4.0-10.  Water pumped from wells is the primary water supply for municipal use throughout the planning area as reflected in the cultural water demand tables for each basin.  An average of 48,050 AFA of groundwater was used during the period 2001-2005. 

The largest volume of municipal groundwater use is in the Lake Mohave Basin with 18,800 AFA of demand, 39% the total groundwater use.  About 1,200 AFA of surface water is used for municipal purposes.  The town of Bagdad in the Bill Williams Basin may use up to 500 acre-feet of surface water diverted from springs as a primary municipal supply.  About 3,100 acre-feet of effluent is used annually for turf irrigation.

Principal municipal demand centers are Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, and the Kingman area.  There is little population or municipal demand in a number of basins including the Big Sandy, Detrital Valley, Meadview and Peach Springs basins.  Municipal demand on the Fort Mojave and Hualapai reservations is estimated at less than 300 AFA.

Table 4.0-10 Average Annual Municipal Demand in the Upper Colorado River Planning Area, 2001-2005 (in acre-feet)

Municipal Demand

Table 4.0-11 Municipal Providers Serving More than 450 acre-feet in 2006 in the Upper Colorado River Planning Area

Water Providers

Only nine water providers in the planning area served 450 acre-feet of water or more in 2000 or 2006. These providers and their demand in selected years is shown in Table 4.0-11 and are discussed below. Municipal utilities serve Lake Havasu City and the City of Kingman while other communities, including Bullhead City, are served by private water companies.  Bullhead City is served by Arizona-American Water Company, Bermuda Water Company and North Mohave Valley Water Company. In 2007, the City acquired the legal authority to become a municipal water provider and serves Laughlin Ranch on the east side of the city.  For more information on annual water demand by individual community water systems in this planning area see ADWR's Community Water System Program annual water use reporting summary.

Municipal water utilities have more flexible water rate-setting ability than private water companies, which are regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission.  In addition, municipal utilities have the authority to enact water conservation ordinances.  These authorities may enable municipal utilities to better manage water resources within water service areas.  Water provider issues are discussed in section 4.0.8. 

With two exceptions, all golf courses in the planning area are served from a municipal water supply.  All golf courses are listed in Table 4.0-12 with estimated demand and source of water.  Golf courses that irrigate with water pumped entirely from facility wells are considered “industrial” golf courses and this use is accounted for as an industrial demand.  Demand was not reported for a number of golf courses and in those cases estimates are based on turf water needs, elevation and duration of the irrigation season.  Most golf courses are located in the Lake Havasu or Lake Mohave basins.  There are two golf courses in the Kingman area in the Hualapai Valley Basin, and one in Bagdad in the Bill Williams Basin. 

Table 4.0-12 Golf Courses in the Upper Colorado River Planning Area (c. 2006)

Golf Courses

Fifty-six percent of the golf course demand in the planning area is met with effluent.  Effluent is utilized in Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City and in Mohave Valley.  In the Lake Havasu Basin, two facilities used 100% effluent in 2006: London Bridge Golf Course, and Nautical/Havasu Island Inn Golf Club.  In addition, some effluent was delivered to Refuge Golf Course (amount not known) and about 100 acre-feet of effluent was used for other turf irrigation.  In the Lake Mohave Basin, about 720 acre-feet of effluent is used to irrigate three golf courses and one park.  Bullhead City delivers about 475 acre-feet of effluent per year to Chaparral Country Club and Laughlin Ranch, and about 65 AFA to Rotary Park.  Arizona-American Water Company delivers about 180 acre-feet of effluent per year to the Riverview Golf Course.  It is anticipated that effluent use for turf irrigation will increase in the planning area since Colorado River contract entitlements are capped and growth continues.


Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc. Utilities Department

The Town of Bagdad is a mining community served water by Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc. Utilities (Freeport McMoRan) formerly Phelps Dodge, Inc. Utilities. The reported groundwater withdrawal in 2006 was 445 acre-feet, and 991 acre-feet in 2007.  Six wells and 2 emergency wells serve the community of approximately 1,600 residents. The system water plan for Freeport McMoRan refers to water from Francis Creek Springs as “the primary source of potable water” for the town of Bagdad, but this is not reported on the CWS annual reports (Malcolm Pirnie, 2006). Either this water is used entirely at the mine site or the actual water use by the town is larger.  Freeport McMoRan reported 82% of its deliveries to residential customers, 6% to commercial and 12% to turf.  In addition to the main town site, Freeport McMoRan serves the Sycamore Springs Mobile Home Park from 2 wells. Commercial customers include shopping centers and a school. Turf includes a nine-hole golf course, a park and school playing fields. Treated effluent is reportedly used for industrial purposes at the mine.

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu City is the largest community in the planning area with a 2006 population of almost 56,000.

Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City is the largest community in the planning area and a popular tourist destination with a 2006 population of almost 56,000. In 2006, it reported 14,534 acre-feet of Colorado River water withdrawn primarily from one well. Approximately 65% of this was delivered to single family residential customers, 6% to multi-family, 11% to commercial, 9% to turf and 8% to other. Its total gallon per capita per day rate in 2005 was 240 (Lake Havasu City, 2006). Lake Havasu City is engaged in an aggressive wastewater system expansion program to convert the majority of residences within the city limits to a conventional sewer system. This expansion included construction of the Northwest Regional WWTP, completed in 2007. The three treatment plants treated about 3,300 acre-feet in 2008 (Table 4.5-8). In 2005, approximately 2,400 acre-feet of effluent was used to irrigate two golf courses and landscaping and in 2006, effluent deliveries began to the Refuge Golf Course.  The City is seeking additional sources of water to meet future demands since its Colorado River entitlement is insufficient. It has secured additional water supplies from the AWBA and MCWA and is exploring options to acquire more. Water conservation and effluent recharge and recovery are considered potential future supplies.


Arizona American Water-Mohave Water

Arizona American Water is the largest of the three large systems that serve Bullhead City.  It serves all but the southern and northern portions of the city. In 2006 it withdrew approximately 6,700 acre-feet of water from six wells.  In that year it served almost 5,200 acre-feet to residential customers and 1,500 acre-feet to non-residential customers. The system has an emergency interconnection with the Bermuda Water Company.

Bermuda Water Company

Bermuda Water Company, the second largest system serving Bullhead City, serves the southern portion of the city, most of Fort Mojave Mesa and the northern portion of Mohave Valley. It withdrew 3,883 acre-feet of water from 8 wells in 2006. Of this total, 318 acre-feet was delivered to other utilities located at Fort Mojave and Mohave Valley. Within its service area it delivered 3,264 acre-feet to single family residences, 106 acre-feet to turf and 151 acre-feet to commercial customers.

North Mohave Valley Water

The third large system serving Bullhead City serves the northern part of the city. It withdrew 1,149 acre-feet of water from seven wells in 2006. Of this, 674 acre-feet was delivered to residential customers and 415 acre-feet to commercial and construction customers.


Golden Shores Water Company

Golden Shores Water Company (GSWC) serves the Town of Golden Shores located in the far southern portion of the Lake Mohave Basin. The water system has approximately 1,516 connections in an eight square mile service area.  In 2006 it withdrew 492 acre-feet from four of its five wells to serve primarily residential customers.

Willow Valley

The Willow Valley Water Company consists of two systems that are not interconnected: the larger King Street System and the Lake Cimarron System. The systems are about three miles apart. The water company service area covers 2,700 acres of non-contiguous sections dispersed within Fort Mojave Indian Reservation lands. In 2006 the systems withdrew approximately 396 acre-feet of water from 3 of 6 company wells. Of this, 342 acre-feet was delivered to residential customers and 28 acre-feet to non-residential customers.

Golden Shores

Golden Shores, Sacramento Valley Basin.

Valley Pioneers Water Company

Valley Pioneers Water Company (VPWC) serves approximately 2,200 residential connections and 70 non-residential customers in Golden Valley, located east of Kingman along Highway 68. In 2006 it withdrew 688 acre-feet of water from three wells and served almost 500 acre-feet to residential customers and 160 acre-feet to commercial customers.  In 2007 VPWC withdrew 930 acre-feet of water and delivered 218 acre-feet of water to the Mineral Park Mine in addition to deliveries to its residential and commercial customers.  If needed, an emergency water supply is available from Golden Valley Improvement District #1, located west of Valley Pioneers (VPWC, 2007).


City of Kingman

City of Kingman

The second largest water provider in the planning area, the City of Kingman Municipal system serves Kingman and New Kingman-Butler.  The community straddles the Sacramento Valley/Hualapai Valley basin boundary. Kingman/New Kingman-Butler is a rapidly growing area with a number of large master planned communities planned in the area. It has a service area of over 46 square miles and provides water service to over 44,000 residents. Kingman has a contract with Mohave County to provide water service to over 9,000 connections outside the city limits (City of Kingman, 2007).

In 2006, Kingman reported groundwater withdrawals of 9,078 acre-feet from 14 wells. Of this, 5,123 acre-feet was delivered to residential customers and 3,381 acre-feet to non-residential customers. Most of the water is pumped from a well field in the southern part the Hualapai Valley Basin. A smaller portion, approximately 400-500 AFA, is pumped from wells completed in volcanic rock of the Sacramento Valley Basin. Although Kingman had a Colorado River water entitlement of 18,500 AFA, it transferred the allocation to the Mohave County Water Authority since the costs of physically transferring the water was not economically feasible. In exchange for the transfer, the City of Kingman receives revenue for development of its groundwater resources (City of Kingman, 2003).

The City of Kingman operates the Hilltop and Downtown Wastewater Treatment Plants that together produce over 2,000 acre-feet of effluent per year, primarily from the Hilltop plant in the Hualapai Valley Basin. Presently, effluent is not reused and is disposed of in a watercourse, evaporation pond and wetland (Tables 4.4-7 and 4.9-9) .



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