This is not redundant. Planners at the Arizona Department of Water Resources have been charged by Gov. Ducey work with the 22 different “planning areas” around Arizona – regions that have been carved out in some cases because of the locally unique water issues they face -- to refine water-use demand information and work with stakeholders to develop consensus-driven solution sets for future demand and supply imbalances.
As part of the Arizona Water Initiative that Ducey created in the fall of 2015, Water Resources planners will travel to each of the 22 planning areas over the next five years. They will meet with local water users – not just with local officials, but with citizens looking to voice their own concerns – and help construct opportunities for local solutions to those water issues.
Over the last two months, ADWR planners have traveled on several occasions for meetings in Willcox (the Cochise Planning Area) and to Wenden (the West Basins Planning Area).
On June 2, staff planners ventured to Kingman and the Northwest Basins Planning Area for an initial organizational “scouting” trip.
The rural nature of many of the planning-area meetings means staff often must bring along electronic essentials, including microphones and speakers. That is not the case in Kingman, where the June 29 public meeting will take place in the spacious, eight-year-old auditorium at the Mohave County Administration facility.
With drought-related concerns a major issue in Mohave County, the 200-seat county auditorium is expected to be filled to overflow at meeting time.
Organized by ADWR Water Resource Specialist John Riggins, the June 2 planning expedition required coordinating with Mohave County officials on the use of their facilities. Mohave County’s security coordinator for its risk-management division, Steve Locey, guided Walker and her staff on a tour of the enormous county facility.
A substantial part of these on-site planning expeditions involves gaining a first-hand appreciation for at least some of the challenges faced by residents of the planning area.
The planners traveled past several of the large, new farms operating northwest of Kingman. They also visited some of the smaller communities in the area, including Dolan Springs.
In the Northwest Basins Planning Area, the fact-finding tour took them to some of the area’s well sites.
Escorted by ADWR Field Services Section Manager Teri Davis, the planners learn about a “transducer” at a well in the lower Hualapai Basin in the Truxton Wash area outside of Kingman.
A transducer electronically measures well depth at scheduled intervals. The devices are invaluable for providing accurate, up-to-date information about an aquifer’s health.