Town of Queen Creek initiates agreement to increase water capacity, sustain future growth

The 2,088 acre-feet of water involved in the agreement is currently used for farming in the Cibola Valley area in La Paz County. (Town of Queen Creek)

The Town of Queen Creek has entered into a water rights purchase agreement that, once approved by state and federal officials, will diversify the town’s water supply, providing a sustainable source of water to ensure long-term, generational access to water.

Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

“The town is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Queen Creek today and into the future – and this agreement is an important part of that commitment,” Mayor Gail Barney said in a release.

“Because we are such a young municipality, we haven’t had some of the renewable water resources available to other cities. This puts us on more equal footing and helps us move away from our long-term dependence on groundwater. This agreement will prevent nearly 200,000 acre feet of groundwater from being pumped over the next 100 years – benefiting current and future generations of Queen Creek and the region,” he said.

The 2,088 acre-feet of water involved in the agreement is currently used for farming in the Cibola Valley area in La Paz County. The proposed transfer of water rights would increase the economic impact of this water, according to the release.

A recent study found the current annual economic impact of the farming use in La Paz County — a calculation involving jobs, wages and economic output — is approximately $1.2 million, with nearly all the benefit “leaking” to California. When the water is put to beneficial use in Queen Creek, the economic impact jumps to $307.7 million, the release states.

Because the deal involves the sale of rights to Fourth-Priority Colorado River Water, it must be approved by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the United States Bureau of Reclamation. To that end, an official Request for Consultation was filed recently with ADWR. There will be opportunity for public comment during both the state and federal approval processes. The Request for Consultation is at queencreek.org/services/utilities/water/water-transfer-request-for-consultation.

Once the deal is finalized and approvals are granted, it is anticipated the water will move via the Central Arizona Project Canal for delivery to Queen Creek, according to the release.

For additional information about the town go to QueenCreek.org. To stay updated on events and activities, follow the town on Facebook.com/QueenCreek or Twitter.com/TownofQC.

The Queen Creek Independent publishes a daily newsletter and website. A print edition is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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