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Queen Creek builds up water supplies with transfer from La Paz County

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - 4:20pm

A sprinkler over green grass.
Ron Dungan/KJZZ
A sprinkler in the town of Queen Creek.

Queen Creek has tapped into a little more than 2,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water to supplement its groundwater supply.

The transfer will help the community as it grows from an agricultural town to a residential area.

It took Queen Creek years to negotiate the $24 million agreement.

Once the deal was in place, the town tapped into a couple of built-in advantages: A Central Arizona Project canal on its border and an irrigation system.

With a backdrop of city park sprinklers releasing some of the water, Paul Gardner, who oversees the town’s water resources, talked about the infrastructure and why city planners worked so hard for what seems like a small amount of water.

"But over the next hundred years, with its reuse, because we’re so good here in the Valley at reusing our water, this will grow to 365,000 acre-feet," he said.

He said the town is working to secure additional water supplies.

Mayor Julia Wheatley said that negotiating the transfer was important to the town's future.

"As a town we made the strategic decision to reduce our reliance on groundwater, not because we had to, but because we knew it was the right thing to do," she said.

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