PRESCOTT - The Arizona Department of Water Resources will unveil its draft new management plan for the Prescott Active Management Area on Wednesday.
The agency will give a presentation about the new draft plan to the Prescott AMA's Groundwater Users Advisory Council at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the www.pvaz.net/index.aspx?page=54">Prescott Valley Town Council chambers in the PV Library, 7401 E. Civic Circle. The meeting is open to the public.
The draft should be available Wednesday on the agency's Prescott AMA web page. Go online to azwater.gov, click on "management/planning" at the top, then click on AMAs.
The public will have 45 days to comment on the draft, said Jeff Tannler, area director for the statewide active management areas. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send him a letter at 3550 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, Ariz. 85012. People also can ask for hard copies of the draft.
The new 4th Management Plan is supposed to cover the years 2010 to 2019, but the agency is behind because of staffing cuts over the past several years.
Agency officials now hope to complete the new plan by the end of this year.
The Prescott AMA has not been making progress on the state-mandated goal to stop depleting its groundwater supplies by 2025, what water wonks call "safe yield." The Prescott AMA registered groundwater overdrafts during eight of the 11 years between 2000 and 2010. The AMA covers 485 square miles and includes Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley.
The previous three management plans have steadily increased water conservation requirements, but the new plan must take a new look at what else the region must do to reach safe yield by 2025, a state official said at a meeting about the new plan last September. That includes evaluating what new laws and policies might help.
Groups that formally commented on the plan's progress during the September meeting called for a more aggressive plan to reach safe yield.
Several people also said the development of large-scale rainwater harvesting facilities will be key to any successful effort to reach safe yield locally.