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Water Management

Prescott AMA

Department Issues Decision on City of Prescott Application to Modify Assured Water Supply Designation

On November 20, 2009 Director Herb Guenther issued his decision and order pdf (9.37 MB) on the City of Prescott’s application to modify its Designation of Assured Water Supply. Prescott sought to increase the volume of effluent in its designation and to add groundwater from the Big Chino Sub-basin of the Verde River Groundwater Basin.


The Director decided that Prescott is entitled to transport 8,076.4 acre-feet per year of groundwater from the Big Chino Sub-basin and that this volume should be added to Prescott's designation provided that a pipeline to transport the groundwater is constructed by December 31, 2019. The Director also increased the volume of effluent in Prescott’s designation. The Director’s decision extends Prescott’s designation of assured water supply through 2023 without the Big Chino groundwater and through 2027 with the Big Chino groundwater.


This action reaffirms a decision Acrobat Icon PDFs (2 MB) issued by ADWR in 2008.


The City of Prescott appealed that decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings, claiming it was entitled to transport a larger volume.


A number of residents of the Prescott AMA also appealed. They contended Prescott’s application should be denied because pumping by Prescott in the Big Chino would reduce the flows of the Verde River, causing negative impacts to endangered species and surface water users.


After several days of hearing in Prescott, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued his decision Acrobat Icon PDFs (2.45 MB). He recommended the Director affirm his previous decision to grant Prescott’s application, but increase the amount of groundwater Prescott can transport from the Big Chino by 500 acre-feet per year. The ALJ determined Prescott was entitled to transport the additional 500 acre-feet per year to replace the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe’s CAP allocation that was sold to Scottsdale.


In his November 20, 2009 decision, the Director accepted the ALJ’s recommendation to grant Prescott’s application, but the Director determined that Prescott was not entitled to transport the additional 500 acre-feet per year from the Big Chino. Prescott and the objectors who appealed the Director’s previous decision may request the Director to reconsider this decision, or may seek judicial review of the decision in superior court.

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