It's amazing what a little bit of rain will do.
Three wet months, with 27 inches of rain, has resulted in a significant rise in Payson water well levels, to the point that some are thinking the town should modify the Stage II restrictions now in place.
Conservation practices by Payson residents have saved hundreds of thousands of gallons of water in the past. These practices should be continued to ensure the town has more than enough water for the future. There is no point in wasting water.
Current restrictions have helped the town use considerable less water than other communities. When Payson started its water conservation efforts, residents were using 129 gallons per person per day, which is much less than Phoenix's 200 gallons per day. Now, thanks to conservation methods, Payson residents used 85 gallons per person per day this past year.
Residents last year used 1,738 acre-feet of water, much less than the 2,681 acre-feet of annual recharge from rainfall.
The town will have even more available water once resources from the Blue Ridge Reservoir come on line a few years down the road.
We should continue to conserve water. The town should promote the conservation of water and this resource should not be wasted.
At the same time, the town should not promote or say there is a water shortage or water crisis when there is none. Residents should not be frightened to the point where people think there will not be enough water to drink in the future.
The town's residents have conserved the water supply and should continue to do so, but they also should not be told there is crisis when none exists.
Town council Andy Romance said the town should not be making decisions based on fear. "There's a time we ought to say, ‘you done good and we had 27 inches of fall from the sky.'"
The town's credibility is on line, Romance said, and we agree.
The town should not tell residents there is a crisis unless there is one. Promoting a crisis when there is none will result in residents ignoring the problem.
By all means promote conservation, promote that saving water is good for residents and the town as a whole. But don't keep people on edge about a water shortage when none exists.