In the more than 20 years that our family has lived on the hillside property in Strawberry, water always flowed through the tap. In 2007, of course, we were at the end of a long drought and some properties experienced water shortages, on Memorial Day weekend I recall. But that was the only time that we remember.
I think that the developers, as well as some current water users in neighboring Pine have set their eyes on Strawberry for water and financial resources.
The current water board (PSWID) which serves both communities, Strawberry and Pine, wants to privatize the water company, freeing it from the control of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), enabling it to expend great sums of money in developing new water sources and delivery to Pine (for example, Ray Pugel’s well site, and purchase of Brooke Utilities).
These large expenditures will eventually be passed on to current water users, including those residing in Strawberry. Simply stated, Strawberry has enough water, but Strawberry residents will be assessed more over time for water service only because they are obligated to participate in retiring the debt derived from developing Pine’s water resources. They might expect also that more Strawberry water will be delivered to Pine.
It would be in the best interest of Strawberry residents if they became more informed about the intentions of the PSWID. In my view, they should band together to seek separation from the PSWID, returning again to a single Strawberry water district, with oversight by the ACC, retaining Brooke Utilities as the water provider.
This is a much less expensive, and a practical proposition for Strawberry users. The water management problems we have with Brooke Utilities are not major, whereas those actions that are proposed by the PSWID have an immense financial impact on Strawberry residents.