CWAG writes a monthly Op-Ed column in the Prescott Courier. Here’s the full archive.


08-10-11 Water misconceptions pose challenges

"There's no point in conserving water when the water saved just goes to population growth."
"It's not right for water rates to go up if we conserve."
"Arizona law requires us to reach safe yield, and the state has a plan in place to balance our aquifer and preserve our water supply." View document.

07-01-11 Arizona headed for drier conditions

The effect of our changing climate on our water resources is an issue of significance to Arizona and the Prescott region. The Citizens Water Advocacy Group recently invited Dr. Michael Crimmins, associate professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona, to speak to this issue. His presentation, "Climate Change and Arizona: Past, Present, and Future," can be viewed online.  View summary.

05-27-11 What is a groundwater flow model

Recently the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published its Regional Groundwater-Flow Model of Aquifer Systems of Northern and Central Arizona. It is a computerized numerical model that simulates interactions among groundwater systems over much of northern Arizona, including the Prescott region and the Big Chino and Verde Valleys. Published May 27, 2011.  View a pdf.

03-11-11 New water sources - What are our options - part 2

In our Feb. 26 column, the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) described the Central Yavapai Highlands Water Resources Management Study (CYHWRMS), a major regional study. CYHWRMS could lead to the best long-term solution for the water shortfalls in the Prescott and Verde Valley regions. Completion of the study and implementation of its recommendations could take 10 to 15 years. View document.

04-22-11 Large-scale rainwater harvesting

Personal rainwater harvesting uses a home's roof gutters and downspouts to channel rainwater to a collection tank. The collected water is typically used for landscaping and significant conservation is achieved.
On a much larger scale, rainwater can be collected for direct use or added to our aquifer to help us achieve safe yield or to offset proposed groundwater pumping in the Big Chino Valley and thereby protect the flow of the Verde River. View document.

02-25-11 New water sources - What are our options? Part 1

All parties to our local water debates agree that we will need more water to achieve safe yield and accommodate expected population growth. The real water questions are how much, how soon, and where will it come from. In today's column and in our next two columns, the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) will outline what we think are the best answers, as well as what issues still need to be resolved. View document.

12-10-10 What is the right price for effluent

In the recent past, when water supplies were considered to be abundant or, at least, adequate, effluent (water from treated sewage) was generally considered a waste product. There was little interest in recycling the water for local reuse. Communities just wanted to find the least expensive way to dispose of it. View document.

11-06-10 Wastewater recharge - What are the risks

Our communities need to recharge our wastewater to our aquifer in order to maintain an adequate water supply and help us reach safe yield in the Prescott Active Management Area.   View a pdf.

10-18-10 How long will our water last?

Now and then an acquaintance who knows that I follow our local water issues will ask, "How long will it be before we run out of water?"
Typically, the person is a senior citizen and lives in the City of Prescott. If I sense the person wants to know if his faucet is going to run dry soon, I point to his gray hair and respond that he is not going to run out of water. I might add that if he has children or grandchildren in the area, the picture is not as clear. View document.

09-03-10 Who will pay for Verde flow mitigation

In our past two Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) columns, we discussed why there should be a mitigation plan before construction of the proposed Big Chino pipeline. In this one we will discuss the economics of mitigation. View document.

08-10-10 Mitigation plan should come first

In the Citizens Water Advocacy Group's last column, our vice president, Leslie Hoy, discussed the recent agreement among the Salt River Project (SRP), Prescott and Prescott Valley concerning the municipalities' intention to import water from the neighboring Big Chino aquifer. She noted that although the agreement called for a mitigation plan to protect the upper Verde River, it appears the public will not see a plan until unspecified monitoring "triggers" are observed. CWAG and many other parties concerned with protecting the river have called for a mitigation plan before construction of the Big Chino pipeline. View document.

07-09-10 Time to let public in on SRP agreement

Does the agreement with the Salt River Project mean our water problems are solved? Can we sit back and forget about water while SRP, Prescott and Prescott Valley negotiate behind closed doors? View document.

06-08-10 Start now to achieve safe yield by 2025

What must we do to reach safe yield and why? Achieving safe yield by 2025 is an important part of the mission of the Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition, which includes all local jurisdictions in the Prescott Active Management Area (PAMA). View document.

05-24-10 Safe yield poses two challenges

What are the difficult water issues facing the Prescott region and why do they matter? In our first water series column, on May 8, we described the Citizens Water Advocacy Group's mission and a little about who we are and what we do. In this column, we provide some basic information about our region's two most challenging water issues. We will lay a foundation for future in-depth discussions of the issues that will determine our region's water future. View document.

05-07-10 CWAG watches out for our water

Will we eventually exhaust our supply of fresh, clean water? Can we expect our water bills to skyrocket in the coming years?
Do economically viable, politically acceptable and environmentally safe solutions exist for our current and future water issues? What can we do to help reduce demand on our finite water resources? What should we do with the "new water" created by conservation or other means? View document.


  • "Ranchers need clean water for their stock, farmers need it for their crops, every employer needs it to stay in business, and every living thing needs it for life... The law needs to be clear to protect water quality and the rights of landowners."
    Mark Udall
  • "Water is the driver of Nature."
    Leonardo da Vinci
  • "When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."
    Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746
  • "...and since flow of information is to spirit what water is to life, we'd best think about how to keep the pipes free and unclogged."
    Raphie Frank
  • "In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference."
    Rachel Carson
  • "We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one."
    Jacques Yves Cousteau
  • "Water is life's matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water."
    Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine
  • "Water is everywhere and in all living things; we cannot be separated from water. No water, no life. Period..."
    Robert Fulghum
  • "It's the water. Everything is driven by the water."
    Mike Thompson
  • "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over."
    Mark Twain