An annual transfer of 1,481 acre feet of Central Arizona Project water from the Flowing Wells Irrigation District to the Town of Marana would have no significant environmental impact, according to a report from the Bureau of Reclamation.
BuRec has conducted an environmental assessment on the proposal, which would raise Marana's CAP water service contract from its existing allocation of 47 acre feet to 1,528 acre feet. Flowing Wells' subcontract would be amended to reduce its allocation, which it has never used, by 1,481 acre feet. The district would retain an entitlement of 2,854 acre feet.
Marana would use the additional CAP water to reduce its dependence on groundwater, and to fulfill the town's replenishment obligations under the Arizona Groundwater Management Act. In the future, Marana would recharge the additional CAP water in the Lower Santa Cruz Recharge Project.
The Flowing Wells district, formed in the late 1800s, provides potable water to more than 3,500 connections serving 16,000 people and businesses. Its service area covers 3.4 square miles. Annually, it provides approximately 2,800 acre feet from eight wells.
The BuRec decision means a more detailed, more expensive environmental impact statement would not be required.
Comments are being accepted on the environmental assessment as well as the Finding of No Significant Impact. Those documents are available on BuRec's Phoenix Area Office website, http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix">www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix. A hard copy or CD may be obtained by calling (623) 773-6251, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To mail comments, people may write Sandra Eto, Bureau of Reclamation, PXAO-1500, 6150 W. Thunderbird Rd., Glendale, Ariz., 85306-4001, send by e-mail to email@example.com, or fax to (623) 773-6486, by Sept. 30.