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Active Management Area Cultural Water Demand - Overview and Tribal Demand

Figure 8.0-20 AMA Average ANA Water Demand by Sector and Water Source During 2001-2005

Figure 8.0-16

Total cultural water demand (Indian and non-Indian) in the AMA Planning Area averaged approximately 3,659,480 AFA during the 2001-2005 time-period; approximately 49% of the total demand in Arizona.  Total non-Indian and Indian demand, by water source and water demand sector for each AMA, is shown in Figure 8.0-20 and Table 8.0-10.  Tribal demand and non-Indian municipal, agricultural and industrial sector demand are discussed later in this section. Tribal and non-tribal demands are discussed separately because non-Indian water use in AMAs is regulated under the Groundwater Code, which requires annual reporting of water use by all groundwater rightholders, compliance with mandatory conservation requirements, and other regulations.  As a consequence, these data are generally reported in Departmental and other publications.

As shown in Figure 8.0-20, cultural water demand varies widely between the AMAs due to differences in geographic area, population, land use and available water supplies. Total cultural water demand was the highest in the Phoenix AMA and lowest in the Santa Cruz AMA with an average annual total demand of 2,253,500 acre-feet and 22,300 acre-feet, respectively, during the 2001-2005 time-period. 

Municipal demand accounted for 35% of the cultural water demand in the planning area with approximately 1,273,100 acre-feet of average annual demand during the 2001-2005 time-period.  Municipal demand includes water delivered by a water provider and water withdrawn from domestic (exempt) wells.

As would be expected, the Phoenix AMA accounted for the largest (81%) of the total municipal demand in the planning area.  Across the AMAs, 63% of the municipal demand was met with “renewable” water supplies; CAP, surface water and effluent.  The Phoenix AMA met over 72% of its municipal demand with CAP, surface water and effluent supplies while the other AMAs used primarily groundwater.

The agricultural sector was the highest demand sector in the AMA planning area with 2,153,900 acre-feet or approximately 59% of the average annual cultural demand between 2001-2005.  Agricultural demand exists within all AMAs but the volumes vary significantly.  The largest annual average agricultural demand was in the Phoenix AMA at 1,052,600 acre-feet (47% of total Phoenix AMA demand) and the smallest was in the Prescott AMA with 5,300 acre-feet (22% of total Prescott AMA demand).  The sources of water used to this meet demand also vary between the AMAs.  Agricultural demand in the Prescott AMA was met with groundwater and recovered effluent credits; surface water use ceased in 2003.  In the Phoenix and Pinal AMAs, 59% and 55% respectively, of the agricultural demand was met with CAP, surface water and effluent supplies.  In the Tucson AMA, approximately 30% of the agricultural demand was met with CAP water and the remainder by groundwater during 2001-2005.

Industrial demand accounted for the remaining 6% of the annual cultural water demand within the planning area for the 2001-2005 time-period.  Although groundwater was the predominant water supply for industrial uses in all AMAs, a significant volume of effluent, 63,300 AFA, was used in the Phoenix AMA.  The nature of the industrial demand differs between the AMAs.  Water use by turf-related facilities was the largest industrial demand in the Santa Cruz and Prescott AMAs.  In the Phoenix AMA, power plant use (65,600 AFA) slightly exceeded turf-related facility use (62,900 AFA) during the period. In the Tucson AMA, mining accounted for 69% (35,200 AFA) of the industrial demand.  In the Pinal AMA, dairies and feedlots were the largest industrial demand category, accounting for 49% (7,200 AFA) of the industrial total. (See table 8.0-17)

Tribal Water Demand

With the exception of the Santa Cruz AMA, there are tribal lands within all AMAs. The locations of tribal communities are shown on Figure 8.0-1 and on the land ownership maps in the AMA sections.  Tribal communities, in alphabetical order, are:  Ak-Chin Indian Community (Pinal AMA); Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation (Phoenix AMA); Gila River Indian Community (Phoenix and Pinal AMAs); Pascua Yaqui Tribe (Phoenix, Pinal and Tucson AMAs); Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (Phoenix AMA); Tohono O’odham Nation (Pinal and Tucson AMAs); and Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe (Prescott AMA).  Tribal demand averaged approximately 377,600 AFA during 2001-2005.  Estimated water demand, irrigated acres, CAP allocation volumes and other information are listed in Table 8.0-11.  Ninety seven percent of tribal demand is agricultural irrigation. Groundwater met about 38% of all tribal demand with large proportions of surface water (33%) and CAP water (29%) also utilized (Table 8.0-10).

Agriculture on San Xavier

Agriculture on the Tohono O'odham Reservation.

Ak-Chin Indian Community

The Ak-Chin Indian Community is a 21,480-acre area located entirely within the Pinal AMA in northwest Pinal County approximately 50 miles south of the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The community consists of approximately 750 tribal members comprised of both the Tohono O’odham and Pima people (2000 Census).  The community includes a 109-acre industrial park and 15,000 acres of irrigated fields (ITCA, 2008).  Harrah’s Phoenix Ak-Chin Casino  is located within the community. 

Table 8.0-10 Tribal Water Demand in the AMA Planning Area

AMA Tribal Demand

The Ak-Chin Indian Community was originally allocated 58,300 AFA of CAP water in 1983.  Pursuant to the community’s water rights settlement in 1984, it is entitled to 75,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water in a normal year, 85,000 acre-feet in a surplus year and not less than 72,000 acre-feet in a shortage year.  The intended use of the CAP water is irrigation (CAP, 2008).  During 2001-2005, an average of approximately 69,200 AFA of CAP water was used for irrigation. In 2009, approximately 83,700 acre-feet was used by the Ak-Chin Farms. In addition to on-reservation use of CAP water, the Ak-Chin Indian Community has entered into long-term CAP lease agreements, primarily with Anthem, north of Phoenix. In 2009, approximately 6,300 acre-feet of CAP lease water was used by off-reservation users (CAP, 2010). 

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

The almost 25,000-acre Fort McDowell Yavapai reservation is located in northeastern Maricopa County approximately 23 miles northwest of Phoenix.  The reservation is bisected by the Verde River and is located entirely within the Phoenix AMA.  The Nation has slightly more than 900 members comprised of the Yavapai and Apache people (2000 Census).  During 2001-2005 an average of approximately 11,700 acre-feet was used annually.  Water supplies are primarily SRP water and groundwater.

There are a number of commercial operations within the reservation.  The Fort McDowell Casino is a gaming facility located adjacent to a 247-room resort and conference center and the 18-hole We-Ko-Pa Golf Club. A sand and gravel facility, Fort McDowell Yavapai Materials, has been in operation since 1980. Recreational activities associated with the Verde River and Fort McDowell Adventures are other tribal enterprises (NAU, 2008; ITCA, 2008).  The Fort McDowell Tribal Farm includes 2,000 irrigated acres of alfalfa, pecans and citrus. 

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation was originally allocated 4,300 AFA of CAP water in 1983.  Pursuant to the tribe’s water rights settlement in 1990, the nation now has a 18,233 AFA CAP allocation with the intended use identified as tribal homeland (CAP, 2008).  In 2007, the City of Phoenix executed a long-term lease of 4,300 AFA of this allocation and used all of it in 2009 (CAP, 2010)

Gila River Indian Community (GRIC)

The 373,000-acre Gila River Indian reservation straddles the Phoenix and Pinal AMAs, occupying lands on both sides of the Gila River south of Phoenix, Tempe, and Chandler.  It is inhabited by approximately 14,000 members of the Pima and Maricopa tribes (ITCA, 2008). During 2001-2005, the GRIC used an average of approximately 183,200 AFA. Industrial parks, gaming facilities and agriculture are the primary demand sectors.  There are three industrial parks and a business park that occupy more than 800 acres.  The agricultural industry brings more than $25 million of annual income to the GRIC from the irrigation of 15,000 acres of GRIC farms and 22,000 independently farmed acres that produce cotton, wheat, millet, alfalfa, barley, melons, pistachios, olives, citrus and vegetables (ITCA, 2008).  Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva and Lone Butte collectively form the Gila River Casinos.  Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa includes a 17,500 square foot spa, two 18-hole golf courses, an equestrian center, and a 2½ mile long replica of the Gila River (NAU, 2008; ITCA, 2008).  The 18-hole Toka Sticks Golf Course (formerly the Williams Air Force Base Golf Course) is also located on the reservation.

The GRIC was originally allocated 173,100 AFA of CAP water for irrigation purposes in 1983.  An additional 138,700 AFA were allocated to the GRIC pursuant to the Arizona Water Settlement Act (Act) bringing their total CAP allocation to 311,800 AFA (CAP, 2008). The settlement agreement specifies the water rights assigned to the GRIC. The GRIC have rights to 13 categories of water including CAP, surface water, effluent and groundwater. In addition to CAP water, supplies include 125,000 AFA of Globe Equity Decree Water (Gila River water) and 156,700 AFA of groundwater. In total, the GRIC are entitled to an estimated average of 653,500 AFA for any period of ten consecutive years.  Approximately ninety-eight percent of the water demand is for agriculture. (ADWR, 2006b)  The Community is in the planning stages of a large irrigation project with plans to establish an irrigation system to deliver water to 146,300 acres of land in seven reservation districts (GRIC, 2008). Up to 41,000 AFA of Indian priority CAP water has been approved for lease to Phoenix AMA cities by the Tribal Council. A lease has been executed with the City of Phoenix, which used 15,000 acre-feet in 2009 (CAP, 2010).  In 2009 the GRIC reported 322,514 acre-feet of water use including CAP, surface water, groundwater and effluent.

Pascua Yaqui Tribe

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is composed of nine communities located in the Tucson, Phoenix and Pinal AMAs.  The largest in terms of population is New Pascua, consisting of 1,152 acres of trust land located about 15 miles southwest of Tucson.  New Pascua is recognized as the Pascua Yaqui reservation. The second largest community is Guadalupe located in the Town of Guadalupe southeast of Phoenix. Other communities in the Tucson AMA are: Old Pascua near downtown Tucson; Barrio Libre in the Town of South Tucson and Yome Pueblo in Marana. Other communities in the Phoenix AMA are Penjamo in Scottsdale and High Town in Chandler.  Pinal AMA communities are located at Coolidge and Eloy (Pascua Yaqui Tribe, 2005). 

There are 3,315 members of the Pascua Yaqui tribe at New Pascua (2000 Census), but many tribal members live off reservation in other communities in the planning area and also outside of Arizona.  According to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe (2005), in July 2005 there were almost 7,700 tribal members in the nine communities with a total Arizona population of approximately 13,100.  There is no irrigated acreage on the Pascua Yaqui Tribe reservation and land dedicated there for an industrial park currently remains vacant (NAU, 2008).  There are two gaming facilities on the reservation and the 4,400 seat Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater is southern Arizona’s largest concert venue.  The Pascua Yaqui tribe holds a CAP allocation for tribal homeland uses of 500 AFA (CAP, 2008).

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC)

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian reservation is located within the Phoenix AMA adjacent to the cities of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix.  Lands within the 56,000-acre reservation are allocated for agriculture, industrial and commercial use, recreation, housing and desert preservation (NAU, 2008).  The population of the reservation exceeds 6,200 and consists of members of the Pima and Maricopa tribes (2000 Census).  There are 13,000 acres of irrigated lands with cotton, melons, potatoes, onions and carrots the primary crops.  Commercial lands are largely located along Pima Road and the primary use is the 140-acre retail center, “The Pavilions”.  Other industrial uses include Cypress Golf Course (two nine-hole courses), Talking Stick Golf Club (a 36-hole course), a sand and gravel operation and a 200-acre landfill.  There are two gaming facilities on the reservation, Casino Arizona at McKellips and Casino Arizona at Talking Stick. 

The community holds a CAP allocation for irrigation use of 13,300 AFA (CAP, 2008). The SRPMIC has executed long-term leases of CAP water to the cities of Gilbert (4,088 AFA), Chandler (2,586 AFA), Glendale (1,814 AFA), Mesa (1,669 AFA), Scottsdale (60 AFA) and Tempe (60 AFA).  Total average annual water demand was 86,600 AFA during 2001-2005.

Tohono O’odham Nation

The 2.8 million acre Tohono O’odham Nation is comprised of four separate reservations, with over 1.1 million acres within the planning area. There are 11 tribal districts within the reservations.  The largest reservation, Tohono O’odham, is located across portions of the Pinal and Tucson AMAs as well as outside the AMAs.  Tribal lands also extend south into Mexico.  The Gila Bend Reservation (San Lucy District) is outside of the planning area in the Gila Bend Basin.  The 71,095-acre San Xavier Reservation is located south of Tucson within the Tucson AMA.  Its boundaries are coincident with the  those of the San Xavier District.  The smallest reservation is the 20-acre Florence Village located 2 miles west of Florence in the Pinal AMA. 

San Xavier

San Xavier del Bac Mission, Tohono O'ohdam Reservation.

There are almost 24,000 members of the Nation with just over 5,000 members residing within the planning area.  Estimated annual water demand during 2001-2005 was approximately 26,800 acre-feet (ADWR, 2008).  Industrial uses within the Nation include a 120-acre industrial park located within the San Xavier Reservation.  The Nation operates two casinos in the planning area, both located south of Tucson; the Desert Diamond I-19 Casino and the Desert Diamond Casino. 

The entire Tohono O’odham Nation holds a 74,000 acre-foot CAP allocation. The Southern Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act (SAWRSA) of 2004 (Title III of the Arizona Water Settlement Act) and the associated settlement agreement specified that the Nation was entitled to 79,200 acre-feet of water rights within the Tucson AMA for use on the San Xavier Reservation and the Eastern Schuk Toak District of the Tohono O’odham reservation.  Of this total, 66,000 acre-feet is CAP water and 13,200 acre-feet is groundwater. The Nation may lease up to 15,000 acre-feet of CAP water to off-reservation users.

The Nation historically supplied groundwater from three wells to ASARCO’s Mission Mine facility, which straddles the reservation boundary (see Figure 8.5-12).  During 2001-2005 approximately 1,300 AFA was pumped from on-reservation wells and 5,000 acre-feet was pumped from off-reservation wells to serve the mine (ADWR, 2006c). Through SAWARSA, ASARCO agreed to decrease groundwater use and use up to 10,000 acre-feet of the Nation’s CAP allotment. By 2009 almost 8,100 acre-feet of CAP water was delivered to the mine in lieu of groundwater pumping (CAP, 2010). The Nation accrues credits for the CAP water used at the Mission mine.

In addition to this in lieu CAP use, the Nation stored 15,000 acre-feet of its CAP allotment at the Pima Mine Road Recharge Facility in 2009 (CAP, 2010).

Approximately 2,900 acres of active farmland are irrigated on Tohono O’odham lands in the Tucson AMA including a 2,000-acre farm on the Eastern Schuk Toak District and a rehabilitated 880-acre San Xavier Cooperative farm (Edwards, 2008). In 2005, approximately 13,300 acre-feet of CAP water was used for agricultural irrigation on Tucson AMA tribal lands (ADWR, 2006c), but by 2009, this had increased to approximately 21,200 acre-feet on expanded irrigation projects on the San Xavier and Schuk Toak Districts. Another approximately 13,000 AFA of CAP water was used in the Chuichu and Vaiva Vo farming areas in the Pinal AMA during 2001-2005.

Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe

The Yavapai-Prescott Indian reservation covers approximately 1,400 acres and is located within the City of Prescott in the Prescott AMA.  The tribe has approximately 180 members (2000 Census).  Historical land uses included timber, mining and ranching, however, current tribal uses are business oriented.  The tribe operates the 12-acre Sundog Industrial Park and the 250-acre Frontier Village shopping center.  There are also two gaming facilities on the reservation; the Yavapai Bingo and Gaming Center and Bucky’s Casino with the adjacent 160-room Prescott Resort and Conference Center (ITCA, 2008; NAU, 2008). 

The Yavapai-Prescott Tribe received an original allocation of 500 acre-feet of CAP water that was relinquished in 1994 pursuant to a water rights settlement and acquired by the City of Scottdale in 1996 (CAP, 2008). Currently, the tribe is provided water by the City of Prescott, although they retain up to 1,000 acre-feet of annual surface water rights from Granite Creek.


water drop  Continue to Section 8.0.6  Cultural Water Demand - Municipal Demand


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