Secure Additional Water First

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Editor:

Contradictory statements in the Roundup's lead story of April 26, 2002 (Water supply holding its own) lead to the conclusion that Payson expects future development to allow water consumption to exceed safe yield.

The article states that in 2001, our consumption was 90 percent of safe yield and that "safe yield is a term used to define the amount of groundwater naturally and artificially replenished into the local aquifer." It goes on to say "As long as no more groundwater is consumed than is replenished, Payson is within its safe yield."

Being within safe yield means that our ability to supply water will continue indefinitely. For the water department to report that the town can "continue to provide groundwater from storage and long-term average natural recharge until approximately the year 2021," there must be an assumption that in the future safe yield will be exceeded.

The water department states that the year 2021 estimate is conservative because it does not take into consideration artificial recharge, new sources of water and the existence of deeper aquifers.

I signed the petition for the moratorium on land development because I believe that the conservative thing to do is to secure the additional water first so that new land development never pushes us above the safe yield.

Bruce Berman, Payson

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