TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - A popular desert oasis in Tucson is set to undergo some major changes this summer.
Agua Caliente Park on the northeast side will be closed to the public this summer for up to four months while major changes are made to the area's water supply.
"We have a couple different parks down by our home but nothing is unique to me as this is," says Ron Simpson, who lives on the southeast side. "It's just a diamond in the desert really," says his wife, Pat. "The water and the birds, the paths, all of the wildlife, we love it."
The park will look much different this summer, when crews will drain the pond, deepen it, and apply a polymer liner to seal it. Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation officials say the county currently pumps 28 million gallons of water a year into the large pond. After this project is completed, the pond will only require around 14 million gallons a year.
"Right now the pond is going down about half an inch a day," says Karen Sims, Natural Resources Director for Pima County. "This project is not only going to save groundwater, but it is also going to save the electrical costs that come from pumping that water."
After allowing the public to fish the pond in January, officials will relocate much of the areas wildlife. Except for non-native fish, which have been dumped in the pond over the years by misguided pet owners.
"Over time we just got this very curious mix of fish species in the pond," says Sims.
For more information on this project, click here. (http://webcms.pima.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_6/File/Government/Administration/CHHmemosFor%20Web/2019/March/Roy%20P.%20Drachman%20Agua%20Caliente%20Pond%20Rehabilitation%20Update.pdf)