Wed, Oct. 23

Sustainability is goal for Big Park Water Company

Almost every day we are bombarded with issues related to water projections, limitations, conservation, drought, etc. Some of these articles are full of scare tactics and some are well written and documented with facts. How to recognize reality from fiction is a challenge. In our perception of water issues, we go in both directions depending on our education and commitment to accomplish something. The fact is that in Arizona water is a precious commodity and has a tangible value. Some people think that water is like air - limitless and inexhaustible. But, water is both finite and exhaustible. The question is, how will water issues affect us, in and around the Village of Oak Creek?

In this respect, we can share with you some good news. The Arizona Department of Water Resources has extended our "Adequacy Statement" for Big Park Water Company and Little Park Water Company saying, among other things, that "groundwater will be physically available, continuously available and legally available for at least 100 years". This great news is based on the hydro-geological study performed by an outside consultant (copy of the Study is available in our office for review by the public) and the Arizona Department Water Resources staff study of our service area. After sharing with you this great news, the question now arises where are we going from here? The basic pretence of our industry is sustainability of the resource. Conservation is the proper way to achieve sustainability of water resources. Each of us knows how to conserve water; i.e., just use common sense. Conservation is like a diet. In the beginning, everything is functioning, but after a while, we start to lose focus, desire and discipline and, in the end, we are back where we started. Our commitment to conservation is a life long process. Mark Twain once said, "It is easy to quit smoking; I've done it 100 times." I personally urge our customers to conserve water as best they can.

On the other hand, we have available different means to substantially reduce our water consumption. In the Village of Oak Creek we have 3 golf courses; one mile apart from each other. Those golf courses are pumping water from the same aquifer as we do. We are competing for the same commodity. They are using water for beautification of golf courses while we are using water to meet our most essential needs; i.e. preservation of life. The most shocking statistic is that a golf course in Arizona on average uses 800,000 gallons of water per day. That is approximately the same amount of water pumped per day by Big Park Water Company to provide the needs for over 3,000 customers.

If we are serious with conservation, why not replace the huge plush green landscaped areas with desert landscaping.

This is nothing new since it is practiced all over Arizona and elsewhere. Why don't we try this?

The other means of conservation is to expand our sanitary sewer collection system and create additional "grey water". At this point, only the VOCA golf course is successfully utilizing grey water.

More grey water will reduce the demand to pump additional groundwater. Therefore, we should support our local sewer district to expand their service area and collect more sewage which indirectly reduces our demand on ground-water.

If we, as a community, have a clear vision of what our goal is in conserving water, we can do it.

If we achieve our goal, then we can be proud of the fact that we are able to secure a sustainable resource for generations to come.

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