Monday, December 24, 2012

New water study and Kenny's big lie

By Jim Keyworth
Gazette Blog Editor

No matter where you turn, you see the message - the West is running out of water.  

In today's (Dec. 24) Arizona Republic, Karen L. Smith of the Grand Canyon Institute writes about a report on the Colorado River Basin just released by the Department of Interior:

"The report's final message should not be lost on anyone living in the Colorado River Basin....  The best estimates suggest water demand will continue to outstrip water supply, with a possible median shortfall of more than 3 million acre feet by 2060."

Among the possible ways to keep this from happening according to the Grand Canyon Institute: maximizing Arizona's reclaimed water resources, appropriately pricing wasteful water use, and plain old conservation.

Which brings us to Payson Mayor Kenny Evans and your Payson Town Council's upcoming attempt to divert part of the water coming from the Blue Ridge pipeline to the Chaparral Pines golf course for 49 years at cost.

It flies in the face of all logic.  In fact, to make a 49-year commitment to watering a golf course is downright irresponsible and immoral.

And just to add insult, Evans has the chutzpah to lie about it - to claim that all that water dumped on the golf course will go into the ground where it can be pumped out and sold again.  Check the science, folks.  Ain't going to happen.

And let's not overlook the Payson Roundup's culpability in this nefarious scheme - not challenging Evans' assertions, not picking up the phone and running the sale of Blue Ridge water to a golf course past Salt River Project, not taking a responsible stand in opposition.

It's one more example of catering to the rich at the expense of the rest of us.  Only this time the stakes are really high.  Unless, of course, pandering to the whims of the rich is more important to you than what your grandchildren are going to do for water.

Payson residents have been asked to conserve water for years.  For what?  So it can be dumped on a golf course?  So that now we finally have a fairly reliable source of water we can just piss it away?

Where is the outrage? 

[To read Karen Smith's column, click and scroll down to COMMENTARY.  It's headlined: "Let's not wait for a crisis to solve our long-term water challenges."] 


Anonymous said...

You can tell by how the Roundup responds after you post something about this water heist that they are reading your blog. But instead of becoming responsible they just make excuses for Kenny. Or allow him to say the craziest things without challenging him.

It's time for somebody to explain how all that water is going to seep into the ground so it can be used again. If that were true we wouldn't be running out of water. C'mon Roundup, how does that work? And while you're at it, why don't you go ahead and explain why the theory of evolution is a hoax?

Anonymous said...

Here's my question: When this comes up for a vote, will the council just put it on the Consent Agenda and hope nobody notices? This council has no morals, no scruples, no transparency. Just ram it through and the citizens be damned.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I believe we should follow this story but with a little less animosity. Payson is about to receive a tremendous windfall of water supply - much more water than it needs at the present. It probbably isn't right to use conditions in many other places as a baseline for deciding how to use our excess water. Water is so precious that it is natural to want to conserve it as much as possible,but when there is an excess, where do you put it all?
We could just take less from SRP, I suppose, but that doesn't seem the best course. The water should find its highest and best use, and if that use includes selling some of it or bartering to receive muplan to manage the waterch desired infrastructure, well, if that is properly managed, the risks seem minimal, at least for now. Perhaps any contracts drawn for use of this excess should contain an escape clause in case conditions change, but a sensible plan to manage this huge influx of new water is needed. It doesn't make sense to just sit on it, assuming we had the storage faciilities to accomodate that. Let's be wise stewards and loook at the broad picture.s8

Jim Keyworth said...

And why, pray tell, is it not wise to use conditions in other parts of the West as a baseline?

And is watering a golf course really its highest and best use.

And most important, what about Kenny's big lie - that we can just pump it out of the ground and resell it?

Don't we the people at least deserve the truth?

Anonymous said...

I believe when Chaparral was approved way back when they were to dig wells and bought a ranch to water the golf course.
Why is the town selling water when they don't even have a pipeline yet? So many questions and so few answers. Thank heavens a mayor can only have 2 terms.

Anonymous said...

We don't use other areas in the west as a benchmark for the same reason that we don't confuse apples with oranges. We have a guarabtee of a large amount of surplus water. Most other areas don't.
Incidently, ChappparalmPines Golf Club never bought any other property in order to possibly obtain well water. That was done by the previous owner of The Rim Club, which at that time was a seperate entity. In any event, not much water was found.