Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is the Treasure Valley facing an 'Arizona water grab'?

The city of Kuna is preparing to defend itself from what it characterizes as “an Arizona water grab” in its back yard.
A group of Arizona companies and a Boise water engineering firm are applying for water rights on over 1,000 acres of land previously approved as the Vista Planned Community, according to an exclusive story in this week's Kuna Melba News.
“I would characterize this as an Arizona water grab,” Kuna city engineer Gordon Law said last week.
Under two separate applications, Vista’s original development companies and SPF Water Engineering of Boise are applying for a total of 20.44 cubic feet per second of water on approximately 1,022 acres of land known as the Vista Planned Community.
The pending water-rights applications are located just west of Cole Road and south of Kuna Mora Road within the boundaries of the Vista Planned Community, a massive mixed-use development approved by Ada County Commissioners in 2008.
By comparison, the city of Kuna currently has eight wells in operation, representing 20 to 25 CFS, so the applications would be the equivalent of the city of Kuna’s entire water production. Further, Law said that 20 to 25 CFS is enough capacity to handle roughly 11,000 dwelling units. The city of Kuna currently has around 5,000 dwelling units.
The city of Kuna has an active water right permit for the diversion of 18 CFS, of which the city has diverted and placed into service about 2.7 CFS.
The city has about eight years left in its permit to divert and place in beneficial use the remaining 15.3 CFS or it will be lost, Law said.

Much more of this story is in this week's Kuna Melba News.

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