The general idea of a safe yield concept is when the amount of ground water pumped from an aquifer exceeds the amount that is naturally, or artificially, replaced by rainfall, or by some other outside source.
A study done in 1998 for Payson determined that the town requires a recharge (rainfall) of 1,820 acre-feet of water per year. An acre-foot is the amount of water to cover one acre with one foot of water. The 1,820 acre-feet of water will vary with the town's population.
A study presented to the town officials in 2000 indicated that the safe yield would be exceeded by the end of year 2000. That was approximately six years ago. Where do we stand now? Since then, hundreds of houses, streets, large developments and landscaping have taken place. All of this requires square footage, which leaves less area for rainwater absorption. Not only that, but there are many more people who are now using water; all of which boils down to less area for water replacement and increased water use. An interesting fact about Payson is that many houses cover up 70 to 90 percent of a lot's square footage.
None of us were around in 900+/- AD to experience the disastrous southwest drought. One can visit the former residents' homes anytime in the numerous cliffs of Arizona. Those Indians probably felt they were very secure in their cliffside dwelling, and their water supply was forever.
Some of our less-learned mamas and papas and helpers just don't get it -- water, growth and integrity are one. We who ignore history repeat it.
Why should Payson residents be forced to use less water just so its officials can continue with excessive growth?
Ed Welge, Payson