A comprehensive plan for Cave Creeks water future is in place

Bob Morris

It has taken several years, the extraordinary effort of Cave Creek employees, the Water Advisory Committee, and a determined Town Council. With the Passage of the 2021 Town Budget and the new Water Rates, a comprehensive plan is being executed to create the Cave Creek and Desert Hills water system of the future. While the system has provided safe and reliable water, this plan assures performance will be even better. It uses the Town’s financial strength to speed up the progress and ease the economic burden on customers. Here are the main elements:
Water Quality

  • A Pall filtration system was installed to ensure the Town could improve TOCA removal efficiencies.
  • Staff have increased the in-system monitoring to ensure water quality stays high.
  • Contracts with Phoenix have been signed to provide emergency backup water from the Phoenix system. This is a landmark achievement for Town government.
  • Land has been purchased to install the equipment necessary to bring Phoenix water into the Cave Creek system. This land is on Cave Creek Road north of Carefree Highway.
  • Two other parcels of land have been acquired and funds allocated to upgrade the Central Arizona Project, CAP, raw water line including new pumping stations and modern controls.
  • Engineering and/or construction is underway to:
  • Construct the CAP line improvements
  • Upgrade the Water Treatment Plant
  • Upgrade the control systems at our treatment plants and remote sites
  • Employee training and certification standards have been significantly enhanced.
  • A strong management team is in place.
  • A new focus is being placed on maintenance to improve overall system reliability.
  • The new water rates are designed to promote water conservation.
  • Water losses will be reduced with the new Treatment Plant technology.
  • Most of the funding will come from current water user fees.
  • Water fees are being adjusted so each user pays a fair share.
  • The accounting system is being revised. It will provide accurate financial information to promote economic decision making.
  • Cave Creek will no longer subsidize the Desert Hills system.
  • To bridge the short-term funding gap, Town cash reserves will be drawn down for about 3 years. Future Town Councils can make budget decisions to pay that money back to the General Fund.
  • The General Fund will make a short-term loan to perform critical preventive maintenance that was previously deferred. That money will be paid back to the General Fund under the plan.
  • Money will be borrowed to reduce the impact to existing customers while ensuring future customers pay a fair share. These funds are for capital improvements not operating expenses.
  • While the plans and funding are in place it will take 3 years to complete the plan. After that the system will generate significant cash to pay back loans and the General Fund.

Bob Morris
Cave Creek Town Councilman