Poor Planning By Utility To Blame For Water Shortage, Not Residents



Myndi Brogdon's Guest Comment on June 8 blamed Strawberry residents for "extreme usage" after the town ran out of water during Memorial Day weekend. She wrote that residents used more than 85 percent more water than usual.

The last time I checked, Strawberry had more houses than permanent residents. That "extreme usage" isn't extreme at all when those who don't live in Strawberry permanently come up to their "home away from home." Naturally, water usage will increase during weekends.

Proper prior planning by Brooke Utilities to meet demand has lead to this problem, not "extreme usage."

Ms. Brogdon's comment about the "need to conserve ... in our desert state of Arizona" is true. But even in the desert surrounding Phoenix and Tucson they drill wells deep enough to ensure adequate water supplies. Here, in the mountain region that gets much more annual rainfall than the desert, Brooke Utilities isn't doing that.

As a part-time resident of Strawberry, I've watched what used to be a problem in Pine move into Strawberry. But it doesn't appear to be because of "extreme consumption," as Ms. Brogdon states. Failure to drill deep enough wells or build enough storage tanks has created a prescription for shortages.

Years of denial or refusal to believe that deep water is available in the area of Pine/Strawberry has saved Brooke Utilities from drilling the necessary wells and ensured that the continuing perpetual shortages continue.

Deep wells have been developed by private individuals in Pine. Water is clearly available.

But it appears that Brooke Utilities doesn't want to spend the money to drill deep wells, so the Pine/Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) is stepping up to the plate, taxing homeowners to help a private company do what they should have done in the first place -- drill wells deep enough, so we don't run out of water.

I can't help but wonder if even this "fix" will just be another case of, to paraphrase, robbing Strawberry to pay Pine, as the proposed deep well site in Strawberry is intended to supply Pine.

Bill Danielson, Scottsdale

Commenting has been disabled for this item.