Mark L. Johnson
TA Tidbits # 22-Trails, Cows & Water
Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Saguaros Enjoying The Scenery
Alamo Springs Trail
Tortolita Preserve (TP) Natural Resource Survey
TA met with Marana Parks & Recreation (MPR) on 5/4/21 to review the proposed TP Natural Resource Survey to be performed by TA citizen scientists. The survey will identify and catalogue plants, animals and other resources throughout the entire 2,400 ares. MPR has actually hired a Natural Resource Coordinator and wants to wait until that employee gets acclimated before additional details are worked out. Next meeting is in early July.
TP Trail Counter
TA met with MPR on 5/18/21 to discuss the purchase and installation of a trail counter for TP hikers and bikers. We agreed to work together and share data. TA has requested and received 3 trail counter proposals and will be making a purchase decision soon.
TA continues to impress upon Marana the need to resolve the cattle situation in TP. The issues are safety and environmental damage. Marana is working with the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) to get the rancher to relocate the cattle water tank off TP property and prepare for fencing the western end of TP which is in Marana 2021/22 budget.
Drought & Tier 1 Shortage
There is no end in sight for the drought and a Tier 1 Shortage on the Colorado River is highly likely. Tier 0 shortage reductions are already in place and Arizona has cut back 192,000 acre-feet/year. When Tier 1 occurs in January 2022, Arizona will have to reduce its Colorado River supply by a total of 512,000 acre-feet/year.
CAP is having a Shortage Briefing on 6/24/21. Consider attending to learn more. See details right.
Tucson Water Rate Increase Unincorporated Areas
Tucson Water is proposing a Rate Increase for its customers in Pima County unincorporated areas. This does not affect Tucson Water customers within Marana. However, this differential rate proposal is concerning because we could be next. Accordingly, TA made the following comments opposing this rate increase at the 6/25/21 public meeting:
This is not the time to be implementing a water rate increase. Many have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and need time to recover.
Tucson Water customers in unincorporated areas represent 30% of Tucson Water customer base! Many have been customers paying the same rates as in-City customers for 30 years. There is no reason to switch from a single tariff pricing model to a differential pricing model as the precedence has been set.
Tucson Water presented at least 8 different rate increase options all the way up to a 50% rate increase. None of this was supported by a cost-of-service study. Just magic. A full cost-of-service study is absolutely necessary before implementing any rate adjustment.
Tucson Water needs to concentrate its efforts in developing rebates for existing Tucson Water customers that are/will subsidize developer connections proposed under wheeling contracts with Marana and other Towns/Cities. See TA 1/16/21 Comment Letter.
There is a public hearing on this proposed rate increase on 6/8/21 and more information can be found at the link above. TA also submitted the above highlighted comments in writing via the website link.