Tuesday, March 24, 2009

update on City/County water study

Last week was supposed to be the first meeting of Phase II of the study, but first the committee had to clear up some unfinished business on the Phase I report. Unfortunately, that unfinished business dominated the evening and bumped the discussion of drought preparedness off the schedule. I didn't wait around til the end of the meeting and am still waiting for the revised schedule to be posted, but I'll assume the report was wrapped up and the next meeting (4/23) will be devoted solely to Phase II.

While I was at the meeting most of the discussion was focused on language in the report describing uncertainties associated with our water supply resulting from possible shortages on the Colorado River. This discussion focused on a need to clarify that the potential for shortages on the river does not affect Tucson Water's designation of assured water supply - which is true. But this brings up the distinction between paper water rights (the amount of water you have legal rights to) and wet water rights (the amount of water physically available to satisfy your paper water rights). This was something that possibly could be more clearly stated in the report, although doing so is likely to result in more questions for the average reader who may have some difficulty with the subject. And in the end what people really need to know is what the effects on our wet water supplies are likely to be - and the impacts from those effects.

The remainder of the discussion I was present for mainly related to dropping or inserting a sentence here and there - housekeeping mostly.

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