Payson Sees Groundwater Rise With Addition Of Reservoir

Published: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 9:07pm
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Payson has seen dramatic improvements in its groundwater supply since it began drawing water from the C.C. Cragin Reservoir.

The town was able to secure that water through an agreement with the Salt River Project.

Payson has relied on groundwater for years. In the 1980s, it secured rights to Central Arizona Project water, but that was too expensive to deliver.

Since then, it has continued to rely on groundwater, but kept looking for new supplies. 

"Of course groundwater is recharged through snowmelt up there, and we’ve been in a pretty long-term drought, and so we haven’t had the kind of recharge from snow, and the kind of runoff that’s necessary to recharge the aquifer, so they have been continuing to deplete that aquifer system,” said Greg Kornrumph, a spokesman for SRP. 

Groundwater levels have risen 60 feet in some areas since Payson began drawing on the reservoir. 

Science Sustainability