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12/26/2012 11:02:00 AM
Proposed water pipeline could extend from Lake Powell to city of Williams
Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council asks Williams City Council to consider future water supply needs
Marissa Freireich

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Officials with the Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council (CPWAC) asked the Williams City Council to consider its future water supply at their meeting Dec. 13.

In a presentation about the North Central Arizona Water Supply Feasibility Study, representatives asked what city officials' level of interest is in a potential pipeline that would extend from Lake Powell to Flagstaff to Williams.

CPWAC, which formed in 2000, conducted an appraisal study to determine any unmet water demands for the Hopi tribe, Navajo nation, Flagstaff and the surrounding areas, Williams and the surrounding areas, Tusayan and the Grand Canyon. They found that in 2050, the water demands of the projected population will exceed the existing supply by 28,000 acre-feet, according to Leslie Meyers with the Bureau of Reclamation.

A pipeline from Lake Powell to Flagstaff to Williams is one solution.

The group began a feasibility study in 2010 for that project that will include a feasibility design report (to cover the engineering aspect), an environmental impact statement and a cost-benefit analysis.

The feasibility study will cost $15 million. Federal agencies have provided $2.7 million and non-federal agencies have provided $2.3 million for the study, Meyers said.

The representatives asked for the city's level of interest in the project since Williams was involved in the appraisal study but hasn't actively participated in the group's meetings since 2006.

"Certainly Williams has a couple of alternatives for its water development in the future," said Ron Doba, coordinator of CPWAC. "One is to continue to develop groundwater by drilling deep wells. That may be the position that the city wants to take."

If Williams officials decide to be a part of the pipeline project, Williams would need to share in the costs. The amount of money needed to stay involved in the project at this point is $1,236.

"For Williams, that $1,236 keeps you in the game with regards to Bureau's sizing of the system to ensure that the capacity is there to meet that projected water that we had identified as what the demands Williams would be needing by 2050," said Tom Whitmer, director of natural resources for the city of Cottonwood.

Council members said the presentation confused them and asked several questions.

Mayor John Moore asked Councilman Craig Fritsinger to start attending the group's meetings.

"I think it's something we need to look at but I think we need a lot more information than you're prepared to give here tonight," Moore said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012
Article comment by: Not Surprised

This pipeline will be a great help to the Stilo development at the Canyon which will be the death of Williams...we should think twice before we support it

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