Planning for Cave Creek’s Water Future

Of all our planning  issues, water is probably the most critical. If the 2018 General Plan does not pass, we continue with the 2005 General Plan. But the 2005 plan has only two pages devoted to information about the privately owned Cave Creek Water Company. (CCWC) The data in that document is very different from what we now know and it contains no Policy/Action items. (After all, the water company was a private business.)

Two years later the Town of Cave Creek purchased the CCWC and assumed the responsibility for managing it. The Town also purchased the Desert Hills Water Company. Both systems needed to be upgraded, storage increased (because at one point local businesses had to haul in water) and infrastructure maintained. Securing additional water was not a high priority.

Today we face a Colorado River that is over-allocated.The town’s only operating well contains unacceptable levels of arsenic. (A common problem in the Southwest.) Our current usage is about ¾ of our total Colorado River allotment and we have yet to reach build-out. Many citizens on the West side of town have wells that are failing.

For now our water supply is adequate and secure. But in order to keep it secure, we need to plan ahead. The 2018 General Plan devotes 8 pages to water planning and includes 25 policy/action items suggested by the Water Advisory Committee. That committee includes several specialists in municipal water systems. Action items deal with securing more water, upgrading inadequate and deteriorating infrastructure and encouraging water conservation. The calvary has arrived. It’s in the 2018 General Pan.

Tom McGuire
Cave Creek Councilman