Water Resource Planning - Groundwater Management Act of 1980
Why We Are Changing Peoria’s Water Supply
Our Sonoran desert receives little rainfall (7-9 inches/year) and very little seeps back into the soil to replenish our underground water supplies (called groundwater). Currently groundwater is being pumped at a faster rate than what is naturally replenished (called overdraft). Regional water levels have declined because of overdraft, causing numerous problems. Problems associated with overdraft include: water quality degradation, increased electric costs to pump water, a need to deepen water supply wells, and the long-term geologic phenomena of land subsidence.
To address the overdrafting of Arizona’s groundwater supplies, the State Legislature passed the Groundwater Management Act in 1980.
In compliance with the Act’s mandates, Peoria has made the commitment to switch its supply of water from a non-renewable source to a renewable one, i.e. groundwater to surface water. Making this transition will provide Peoria residents with a long-term supply of high quality water while not depleting our groundwater supply. Saving our groundwater now will ensure that Peoria can provide water for the next generation and beyond.
WATER - A PRECIOUS, LIFE GIVING RESOURCE
Without water we would not live in our beautiful Sonoran Desert. The desert, by its nature has very limited water resources, especially in years of low precipitation. Native desert plants and landscaping thrive in our arid, dry climate. We must learn from nature and preserve this precious resource bestowed upon us. Our very existence is dependent on adequate supplies of high quality water!
PEORIA'S WATER SUPPLIES
The City of Peoria Public Works - Utilities Division serves more than 100,000 people in an area greater than 160 square-miles. These customers are located in two water supply regions, Salt River Project (SRP) and Central Arizona Project (CAP).
The city has obtained its water supply from beneath the ground using wells since its incorporation in 1954. This type of water, known as groundwater, is pumped from geologic formations or aquifers hundreds of feet below the land surface.
Peoria currently obtains water from numerous wells located throughout the City, Greenway Water Treatment Plant and from the City of Glendale's Pyramid Peak Water Treatment Plant. The wells range in depth from 700 to 1600 feet below the land surface. The first CAP water was introduced from Pyramid Peak WTP into the distribution system in September 1998. Greenway WTP began providing SRP water to our citizens in June, 2002.
SRP AND CAP
The City obtains its renewable surface water supplies from the Salt River Project (SRP) and Central Arizona Project (CAP). The City treats this water at two water treatment plants, Greenway and Pyramid Peak.
SRP water comes from the Salt and Verde Rivers and, in accordance with federal law, can only be used on SRP lands. The City treats this water at the Greenway Water Treatment plant at the end of the Arizona Canal, near 75th Avenue and Greenway Road. This plant is designed to treat 16 million gallons per day, nearly 50-acre feet/day.
CAP obtains its water supply from the Colorado River through a canal, 336 miles long, that starts in Lake Havasu and ends south of the City of Tucson. The water is pumped uphill from the Colorado River and stored in Lake Pleasant during the winter months when electricity cost and water use is low. Then, during the hot summer months, when electric costs are expensive and water use is high, the lake level is lowered by gravity sending water back into the canal. Electricity is generated by this water flow. This water is then treated at water treatment plants within the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas.
CAP water is used in areas that are "off-SRP" lands. This water is treated at both the City of Glendale’s Pyramid Peak water treatment plant located near 67th Avenue and Jomax Road and may be treated at the Greenway facility. The City of Glendale originally constructed the Pyramid Peak plant in the 1980s and recently expanded the facility. The City of Peoria joined in on this expansion by spending about $10,000,000 to provide capacity to treat water for Peoria Citizens.
Principles of Sound Water Management