by Chuck Heron
chairman, diamond star citizens action coalition
Citizens of Payson and surrounding communities:
The residents of the Diamond Point/Star Valley area are not trying to keep water from you, we are trying to protect a valuable resource. There is not sufficient water under the Diamond rim to provide the Town of Payson with a "renewable" source of water for its future needs. The older wells in the area have already seen a drop in the static water levels just due to the increase in residential usage.
Large volume pumping by the Town of Payson could deplete the water table.
Our ground water is recharged with only 5 percent our annual precipitation. High volume pumping would greatly exceed nature's ability to replace the water.
According to the ongoing US Geological Survey, AZ 177, Al Ramsey at the State of Arizona, Water Resource Division, and the ADOT, there are not deep "holding aquifers" in our area. Any water mined in this area would be a temporary fix to a potentially serious problem.
We are suggesting that the Town of Payson spend its efforts and money exploring for water in areas that have been determined as "renewable water sources," by using reliable hydrological data from documented sources, such as the US Geological Study AZ 177, dated Dec. 2000. If you read these studies, Payson must look south, as far as Rye or even Tonto Basin. This would be a more expensive project, but these are the areas where the holding aquifers are to be found. Too much money has already been spent on wells with little or no yield.
Please attend the meeting Aug. 8 at the Payson High School at 7 p.m. for a presentation by the USFS, and a discussion of the concerns regarding water exploration by the Town of Payson. Bring your issues and concerns and participate.
We must remember why we love living in the Payson area and work together to preserve its natural resources.
Payson is not going to run out of water. The Town may have to put a temporary hold on building permits, but this is a small price to pay, to take the time, to thoroughly explore the available data, and make the correct decisions to ensure Payson's future.