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New pipeline will deliver reclaimed water from Mesa to Gila River Indian Community

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 4:04pm
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Construction began this week on a new 10.5-mile water pipeline in Mesa. It’s part of an agreement between the city and the Gila River Indian Community that allows reclaimed water to be exchanged for Colorado River rights.

Mesa already delivers some of its reclaimed wastewater to the Gila River Indian Community for agricultural use. But the new pipeline will double the amount. In exchange, Mesa will get some of the tribe’s Colorado River allotment.

Mesa water resources director Chris Hassert told KJZZ News that’s important because the city is growing and doesn’t want to have to pump more groundwater.

“In our view, using surface water like the Colorado River or Salt and Verde Rivers is a more renewable, sustainable approach; versus groundwater, which is a finite resource that we try to preserve,” Hassert said. 

Hassert said building the approximately $175 million pipeline is also cheaper for Mesa than it would be to build infrastructure to use the reclaimed water within the city. 

Hassert said for every 10 gallons of reclaimed water Mesa delivers to the Gila River Indian Community, the city will get eight gallons of water from the Central Arizona Project. 

The pipeline is expected to be complete in 2025.

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