More To Water Issue Than Reported



Re your editorial "Study raises sobering water questions" in the Sept. 27 edition of the Roundup, I think that your readers are entitled to some additional facts.

The so-called "safe-yield" is a misnomer. Back in 1999, Payson started to publish (through the Roundup) a quarterly update on various town functions and problems. Among other features was a report on the water level of 12 major town wells. I have been following up on this report periodically ever since.

In Jan. 23, 2005, the report showed that in the 56 months from March 1999 to November 2004 the average decline in water level for the 12 major wells was 36 percent. When you have been consistently depleting your aquifer for nearly five years, you have been exceeding safe-yield for five years.

You say "Payson's best hope is the Blue Ridge Reservoir." That is only because we have been deserted and ignored by politicians at all levels, from Payson to Washington, D.C. We have proven that there is enough water under the 21-square-miles of Payson to support 15,000 of us, if we use it properly. It stands to reason that there are pockets of water within 15 miles of Payson that would be adequate for the next 10,000 residents, without disturbing Star Valley, or other inhabitants.

The only entity standing in the way of Payson having more water, a lot cheaper than Blue Ridge, is the U.S. Forest Service.

My guess is that the Forest Service knows that if Payson finds adequate water in the forest, that they will be tied up in the federal courts for the next 20 years. This is where our politicians have failed us. They are afraid to take on the environmental organizations and re-write laws for today's needs.

Payson government has failed us by not building up any fiscal reserve for new water -- whether from Blue Ridge, or the forest.

We have done nothing to start saving for this major expenditure. When we realized we could not provide for any additional houses, or businesses, which was at least five years ago, we should have raised impact fees dramatically.

Finally, the solution is not through "all communities, all water purveyors, and all private well owners." The 1998 Southwest Groundwater Study showed us that there are at least five aquifers under Payson.

I will bet serious money that that holds true for the other areas under the Rim. We are not inter-connected, except for those that are in close proximity; so, we better get busy and solve our own problems.

Dan Adams, Payson

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