Arizona and water: an intrinsic, symbiotic relationship
Next time you turn on the tap, take a minute to think about how many people helped move the water from its source to your glass.
The answer may surprise you.
Over the past half-century, private developers have built most of Payson's water infrastructure and storage facilities. In fact, private developers designed and paid for 75 percent of the large-pipe delivery system and two-thirds of the current water supply.
Although Payson's water system was established 1950, the town didn't take over its development until 1985. There was no need.
The benefits of the relationship are clear: water availability and excellent fire flow mean very low insurance rates for the town, and more than 300 private well users who currently co-exist with Payson's 40 public water supply wells.
To assure a safe and adequate water supply in the future, progressive water conservation measures have be put in place.
The town's safe-yield water management policy ensures that groundwater use does not exceed the annual recharge into the aquifer.
The town also requires developers planning residential or commercial developments of a certain size to identify independent water sources and arrange transport into Payson.
As a developer and area resident for nearly 20 years, I fully support that policy. That's why our company is investing nearly $2 million to develop and improve safe water wells in Star Valley and build a pipeline to bring the water into Payson.
Part of our investment has been in hydrology and water-testing analyses by a respected, independent water consultant who found: That drawing water from our wells will have minimal impact on surrounding wells; and no evidence of any contamination from the distant landfill.
We're only required to build with 8-inch pipeline, but we're using 12-inch line for two-way flow for future needs of both Payson and Star Valley.
Payson and Star Valley are inextricably linked.
Payson relies upon Star Valley residents to fill jobs and its businesses for products and services. Star Valley looks to Payson for similar needs, as well as for amenities.
Unfortunately, recent rhetoric, based on misperceptions and rumors, has blurred the facts and redirected focus away from what is best for everyone who lives, works and visits this community.
I'm not saying there won't be differences of opinion, but tossing barbs and false accusations doesn't achieve anything except creating rifts and unfounded dissension.
The fact is: Working together yields tremendous results. All you have to do is turn on the tap and you'll see what I mean.
Mike Horton, Terra Capital Group