Letter to Sen. Jon Kyl:
I am sorry that we didn't have more time to discuss the Payson water situation when I saw you in Washington in May.
Unless God changes his water delivery schedule, I still predict that Payson will be in serious water problems before we find new water, at the rate we are going.
Currently, Buzz Walker is exploring all the privately owned water rights, within a reasonable distance of Payson, to determine what might be available from those sources. This is a good and necessary approach, but so far hasn't shown enough promise.
I still feel that we should be simultaneously doing exploratory drilling in the Tonto National Forest. Here we are making no discernible impact studies. Because time is running out on us, I recommend that we be permitted to go into the forest and drill at multiple locations to find out where additional water actually is, how much is there, and if water removal at any of these locations affects any other users.
All of this, with no formal impact studies. After we find adequate water for the next 10,000 residents of Payson, we would then do the necessary studies for the wells, pumping stations, pipelines, etc.
I have discussed this with Ed Armenta, and with some caveats concerning obviously inappropriate well sites, he says he has no problems with such an approach.
What we now need is someone with a fair amount of clout to bring all the involved individuals and organizations together and get things started. That is where your office comes in.
I am aware of the Bureau of Reclamation study of the whole watershed and agree that it is a good idea for the long pull. However, when they start talking about Blue Ridge or Roosevelt Lake, I lose interest because the time and money involved. I still go back to the basic logic:
a) There is enough water under the 12,000 acres of Payson to supply water for 15,000 of us, if we use it right.
b) There is nearly 40 times as much land in the Payson Ranger District of the Tonto National forest as there is under Payson. Somewhere in that 464,000 acres there must be enough water for 10,000 more people in Payson.
c) Payson is willing (or at least should be willing) to pay compensation for such water.
I hope that you and your staff can find some time to expedite the quickest, most economical and expeditious route to securing Payson more water, without getting involved in a grand regional plan with distant sources, reservoirs, riparian beautification, etc.
It's do it like we are spending our own money, which we should be forced to do. No other entity should spend money securing water for us, but we should be permitted to secure water as economically as possible.
Dan Adams, Payson