Water Study Examines Underground Flow In Rim Country

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A water study conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation will provide a more comprehensive look at the underground flow of water in northern Gila County.

The Mogollon Rim Water Resources Management Study is currently in a peer review stage, Water Resources Planner and study manager Leslie Meyers said.

"One of the main focuses of the study was the development of a hydrogeologic framework for northern Gila County," she said.

The results of the study aim to provide water stakeholders more information about the underground water flow and availability for the area. More knowledge about the water systems in northern Gila County can account for better management, she said.

Officials from Payson's Water Depart-ment, along with experts from Northern Arizona University, Arizona Department of Water Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, Gila County and Salt River Project are among those reviewing the study.

"Once those experts have submitted their comments, the documents will be finalized and incorporated into the larger report," Meyers said.

Meyers said the study would be prepared for review by a technical committee within the Bureau of Reclamation by January 2008.

She estimated a release date of a final version, complete with peer comments, to be April 2008.

"I will provide hard copies to the town of Payson, Gila County, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Forest Service, SRP, Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District, Brooke Utilities and others who have participated in the study," she said.

The Bureau of Reclamation is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the largest wholesaler of water in the country, according to its Web site. The BOR primarily focuses on water management in the Western United States.

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