Council Memo

Presentation on Groundwater Recharge.


Department:Public WorksSponsors:


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Recommended Action: This item is for presentation only.  No action will be taken.



Item Summary


This presentation is an overview of the City of Prescott’s recharge and reclaimed water supplies.



Meeting History

Jul 9, 2019 1:00 PM  City Council Study Session Meeting
draft Draft

Public Works Director Craig Dotseth provided a presentation to Council regarding ground water recharge and recovery in the city of Prescott. There are two types, natural recharge and supplemental recharge (wastewater). The city's recharge facility is operated by our staff and does both surface and water/treated effluent supplies. Recharge of water requires state permitting, facility meets state and city water management efforts for maintaining.


* Historically, community's wastewater supplies have been treated/reclaimed and then used to irrigate Antelope Hills Golf Course dating back to the 1950s

* When more reclaimed supplies were available than were needed at the golf course, those volumes prior to 1987 were discharged to Granite Creek until approximately 1988

* In 1988, City was issued its first "Recharge Project Permit" from State of AZ for underground storage of treated effluent. The facility was designed and approved for 6,721 acre-feet (af) per year

* Today, Antelope Hills/Prescott Lakes/Capital Canyon Golf Courses use treated/reclaimed wastewater supplies to irrigate turf

* City continues to operate a recharge facility in the same location

* In 1998 the City purchase Watson and Willow Reservoirs (land and surface water rights)

* In 1998 City was issued two water storage permits for both reclaimed and surface water supplies, one denoted as "non-recoverable" (Prop 400)

* In 2009 the City was issued a modified permit allowing for recharge of 7200 af/year

* In 2013 the City was issued another modified permit allowing for recharge of 12,000 af/year

To reach the total allotment of permitted total recharge at 12,000 af/year, 3,861.26 af of surface water supplies are measured at the point where the water enters the recharge facility and 8,138.74 af of effluent supplies are measured at the point the water enters the facility. Since 2006, groundwater recharge has been gradually increasing in volume that we were able to manage particularly in 2017 when we saw our highest volume at 7,300 af. So far this year we are at 2,638.69 af.

Councilman Sischka asked for clarification on where the water goes when it is recharged.

Mr. Dotseth stated that it does go back into the aquifers, however, that the amount of time it takes to get into the aquifers is not specifically known.