U.S. Water News Online
TUCSON, Ariz. -- As Tucson officials examine their options
for utilizing the
city's water allocation from the Central Arizona Project (CAP), one thing is
essentially certain: Tucsonans are likely to resist any rate increases for
the CAP water. If the additional water supply were fully utilized, Tucson is
looking at rate increases ranging to $116 a year by the year 2000.
A survey has determined that most residents "may be unwilling to
small rate increases" for CAP water because it is harder and saltier than
Tucson's existing groundwater supply. The surface water supply, which is
transferred from the Colorado River via open canal, is of such poor quality
that it actually has caused damage to water lines in the city.
The Tucson CAP plan, scheduled for adoption later this year, will
five years to fully implement. In basic terms, the city's four options range.
from fully utilizing the additional supply for groundwater recharge, to
continuing Tucson's status quo of total reliance on its groundwater supply
Maintaining the existing groundwater supply is the cheapest alte
resulting in a projected rate increase of only $48 a year. On the other hand
if all CAP water is recharged, household water bills in the year 2000 would
increase between $106 and $114 a year, according to a report by the
consulting engineering firm of Dames and Moore.
An effort also is under way to place an initiative on the November
specifying how CAP water is to be used.
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