This letter has been written for two reasons only. Its purpose is to educate the people of Pine and Strawberry so our domestic water supply can be improved.
First of all, we have adequate water in the area to serve our needs.
What we don't have, at the present time, as individual property owners, is the collective will and the formalized organization to acquire and unite the various water systems under one entity.
The communities of Pine and Strawberry need to own and operate the water system locally.
Now, as to supply and availability of water.
There is a Central Arizona Project (CAP) water allotment for Pine which would entitle it to surface water from available sources.
Additionally, the Old Pine Water Users System has water rights on Pine Creek that pre-date the Salt River Project's water rights.
A report done by the United States Forest Service in the 1960s in Pine Creek Canyon concluded that there is enough annual precipitation on the 15 square mile watershed to service a permanent population of 20,000 people, if properly stored.
Secondly, as to the present drawing of water from wells in Pine and Strawberry, there is enormous misunderstanding.
Our well water comes from numerous underground streams. There is no bowl or basin of water. It is a matter of catch it and use it or lose it.
The continued disbursement of charges and counter charges, claims and counterclaims, damages and hurts each and every one of us who owns property here in Pine and Strawberry.
No one needs to be without water or needs to be on a waiting list to have a water meter installed.
It is past time to stop blaming the Arizona Corporation Commission, Gila County and the water company.
We are the problem and the solution. Do something now.
Austin Myers, P.E., Pine