U.S. Water News Online
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson's city manager has barred the water
department from expanding any further outside city areas where it's
not legally obligated to provide service.
The order from City Manager Mike Hein affects Marana, Oro Valley
and state-owned land outside city limits. He said he imposed the ban
on new pipelines and connections because the city and county haven't
come up with a plan to meet the region's water needs in the coming 50
"Everyone has been dancing around the real issue ... and that's
regional land use," Hein said. "It's not our responsibility to enable
growth we have no control over in other jurisdictions."
Hein said he weighed several factors, including voters' recent
rejection of a proposition that would have imposed restrictions on
city water use and Marana's recent lawsuit against Pima County over
control of wastewater from a regional treatment plant.
Marana Town Manager Mike Reuwsaat said he expected the move. The
growing town has battled Tucson over shares of Central Arizona
Project water and infrastructure.
Tucson Water provides 74 percent of the water in the metropolitan
region, and about 34 percent of its customers are outside city
limits, including Marana and Oro Valley.
The moratorium on new hookups could lead to higher water rates
because of a loss of new revenue," Hein said. Also putting potential
upward pressure on rates is a City Council mandate that the city use
all of its Central Arizona Project allocation, which would require
more investment in new facilities.
Slowing new home development makes it a good time to impose a
moratorium, Hein said.
Lori Lustig, government liaison for the Southern Arizona Home
Builders Association, agreed.
"In this market, it won't hurt us at this point in time," Lustig
said. "We hope to find an amicable means of working through this
that's advantageous to both sides."
Return to the
U.S. Water News' Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.