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  • Writer's pictureTortolita Alliance

Marana DAWS Modification-Objection Letter & Hearing Update




 

Tortolita Alliance (TA) filed its 6th Public Records Request (PRR) to obtain copies of the Objection Letters and obtain information regarding the Designated Assured Water Supply (DAWS) process going forward. ADWR has responded with the following information:


  • 60 Objection Letters were filed by TA, 2 other environmental organizations and 57 individuals.

  • ADWR requested that Marana provide ADWR a Response to the Objection Letters by March 8. The Marana Response letter is discussed below and available by clicking on the link button.

  • ADWR-Director will now determine if an administrative hearing will be held.

  • If ADWR-Director determines that an administrative hearing is required, it will be held between March 22-April 22 in the Tucson Active Management Area.

  • If ADWR-Director determines that an administrative hearing is not required, Marana and Objectors can appeal.

  • ADWR will inform the Objectors of their decision sometime prior to March 22.


 

Thanks to all the organizations and residents that filed Objection Letters!


 

Marana Response To Objections


Marana responded to the Objections on March 8, 2024 (click on link below to download). The Marana Response covers TA's 17 objections in detail and does mention the other Objection Letters which referenced and supported the TA Objection Letter.


Marana has opined that each of the 17 objections are not pertinent according to the strict legal requirements of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) relating to DAWS. No surprise!


Marana's Response once again clearly demonstrates the tremendous conflict between the Arizona Groundwater Management Act/DAWS Regulations and prudent water supply planning. For example, TA Objection #9 suggested that Marana's CAP (Colorado River Allocation) be discounted by 20% because the Colorado River water supply is over-allocated and subject to frequent shortage cut-backs. This is prudent water supply planning, i.e., providing a bonafide factor-of-safety for a water supply that is not 100% reliable. The Marana Response stated:


"While planning for M&I Priority CAP supply shortage is a critical task for all subcontractors, this objection and recommendation are contrary to current precedent and rule for recognizing 100% of the contract entitlement..."


Many of the Marana Responses are just like this.


There are, however, some potentially good things in the Marana Response.


First, there appears to be an effort by Marana to become more forthcoming and transparent regarding public water supply planning and management. The Marana Response cover letter states:


"In any case, Marana does see value in addressing water management priorities and appreciates the opportunity to provide additional information for public engagement. There are also forums exploring some of the broader questions raised in the objections."


No matter what the ADWR Director's decision is regarding an administrative hearing, let's ensure that Marana follows through with their statement and holds several public engagement forums or Town Hall events so that the resident's of Marana can learn more and provide public comment on critical public water supply and management issues including the 17 Objections brought forth in this proceeding.


Second, there are inferences in the Marana Responses to the 17 Objections that Marana will address outside the DAWS process. For example, the Response to Objections No.15 (high cost of CAGRD and New water) , No.16 (only new customers should not pay for New water) and No.17 (wheeling water agreements discriminate against existing customers), indicate these suggestions will be shared with the Marana Town Council for consideration.


And finally, the other great outcome is that the 60 Objection Letters and the Marana Response are now part of the ADWR public record and demonstrate to the ADWR Director the serious conflict between the Groundwater Management Act/DAWS Regulations and prudent water supply planning and that many in the community are really concerned about the future of our water supply. This alone should be good cause for an administrative hearing---despite the Marana Response.


Please save these documents for future reference as it will be very telling, down the road, when some of these water supply concerns referenced in the Objection Letters come to bear.



Marana DAWS Modification-Marana Response To Objection Letters-2-8-24
.pdf
Download PDF • 423KB

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