Phoenix, SRP Strike Deal On Water Pumping

Published: Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 5:55pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.17 MB)

The city of Phoenix and the Salt River Project announced a deal that reserves well space for pumping the city’s stored water if there’s a Colorado River shortage.

Phoenix has been storing water underground as a way to hedge against any future shortage declaration on the the Colorado. But if that shortage comes, Phoenix needs a way to pump out that stored water.

“We don’t want to be caught trying to scramble around, trying to find ways to get the water that we’ve stored in the ground out of the ground,” said Cynthia Campbell, the city’s water resource management adviser. “We want to be ready.”

So in lieu of building its own wells, Phoenix turned to the water utility Salt River Project.

“Out of all the wells that SRP has and all the capacity that we have, we will reserve some of it for them to call upon,” said Christa McJunkin, director of SRP’s Water Strategies Department.

Here’s the price: for a $12.3 million one-time fee and a pumping charge ($55.82 per acre-foot of water up to 100,000 acre-feet, then $151.17 for each acre foot above 100,000 over the 40-year life of the deal), SRP will pump up to 20,000 acre-feet of water for Phoenix each year.

If you like this story, Donate Now!