Judy Buettner's recent letter did an excellent job of clarifying just exactly what kind of a moving target the "safe yield" number is for Payson's water supply. Bottom line is on any given day of drought rainfall, snowfall or variations in consumer use the "safe yield" value changes.
Her advice to let the Payson Water Department do their job should be heeded. Anybody who remembers the condition of Payson's water system Aug. 1, 1980 knows we have come a long, long way. That was the date Payson purchased a substandard water system from United Utilities and started two decades of improvements.
Consider these Payson water facts comparing 1980 and 2001: Population has increased 134 percent (5,842 vs. 13,650); Water production has increased 332 percent (795 GPM vs. 3,433 GPM); Water storage has increased 465 percent (1,438,000 gal. vs. 8,130,000 gal.); Water distribution system was inadequate and now is more than adequate.
These and many other improvements have allowed our storage tanks to remain full of water even on our peak use day, July 4. As far as I can determine, the town water department has met or exceeded all recommendations of their current master plan. I believe they will continue to be successful in spite of no-growth petitions and coalitions of county residents. The key to that success is effectively working with the Forest Service, Arizona Department of Water Resources and Salt River Project.
One final note, Mrs. Buettner is absolutely right about the vast majority of water supply development, water storage tank construction and water distribution system improvements being financed by and/or constructed by developers as required by the Town of Payson Water Department. The majority of remaining improvements the developers did not fund was paid for by state and federal grants not local taxes. Why, those evil developers even donated the ground that Green Valley Park was built on.
Keep up the good work, Town of Payson Water Department employees.
Ray Frost, retired