In the spring of 1999, the Town of Payson published a report on well depth history for 12 of the most prolific wells in town. Since an assured water supply is probably the most important function that town government performs, I thought this an excellent idea.
For whatever reason, the report was not repeated. Therefore, I have been reporting, periodically, to you. The most recent report was one year ago, and this letter updates it.
2005 has been a good year for Payson's water reserves. For the first time in more than six years, we have increased the water under the town. Eight of the 12 wells increased their reserve, and four continued to decline. By the rough calculations I made, we have regained enough well depth so that our total loss of well reserve for the past six years has declined to 20 percent.
Thus, we are still in no position to go on a water-spending splurge. Most of the recovery is undoubtedly due to the fact that 2005 furnished us with at least 20 percent more rainfall than the long-term average. Probably some of the recovery was also due to water control measures on the part of the water department. However, these figures will not be available until after the first of the year.
Weather patterns since mid-October indicate that our heavy rainfall in 2005 may have been an aberration in a continued long-term drought. If so, we had best continue to husband our water resources, as during the drought years we mined water every year, with fewer users that we now have.
Dan Adams, Payson