Tucson, Marana enter agreement to reduce groundwater pumping

Renewable water from the Colorado River will reduce Tucson groundwater pumping
More than 30 million people in Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New...
More than 30 million people in Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico get drinking water from the Colorado River system.
Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 5:06 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The City of Tucson and the Town of Marana have entered a collaborative water agreement that will allow an increase use of renewable water from the Colorado River while decreasing groundwater pumping from Tucson’s basin.

The agreement allows the Town of Marana to use Tucson Water’s facilities to recharge and store water in its aquifer. Tucson Water will pump out water from its storage unit and deliver it through a connected water system.

As part of the agreement, Tucson will design and build the connecting points to Marana’s water system.

Marana will reimburse Tucson Water for design and construction costs related to the new facilities and pay for operating costs related to recharge, storage and delivery.

“As a desert city, we highly value and strive to protect our water resources,” said Mayor Regina Romero. “Wheeling agreements, like this one, allow for a regional coordinated effort to reduce groundwater pumping and increase renewable Colorado River water. Collaborating with neighboring cities to preserve water is not only a win for the environment, but also for the people in our region.”

Tucson has entered into other agreements with Oro Valley, Pascua Yaqui, and Vail Water Company- among others.

“This agreement obviously benefits the community due to reduced groundwater pumpage. However, it also reinforces the fact that local water providers can work together to resolve regional issues,” said John Kmiec, Deputy Director of Tucson Water.

The benefit to these agreements is that they reduce the amount of non-renewable groundwater usage and encourage the use of renewable water supplies, resulting in groundwater conservation.

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