By September 12, 2017

Anthem Not to Blame for Rural Wells Drying Up

EPCOR water treatment facility anthem

EPCOR’s wastewater treatment plant in Anthem, looking north (Boulder Creek High School ball fields are at the top). Photo by Bob Copen

Rumors abound that the development of Anthem, which began in 1999, is linked to declining water levels in nearby rural wells in New River and Desert Hills. But Anthem gets its water from the Colorado River and runoff into Lake Pleasant, via the Central Arizona Project (CAP).

Frank Corkhill, chief hydrologist at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, said the development of Anthem is not to blame for the region’s water problems.

“Undoubtedly, groundwater pumping is responsible for most of the water level decline seen in the area,” he said. “However the Anthem development receives surface water from a lease of Ak-Chin Indian Community CAP water. Therefore, pumping by other water users in the area—municipal, industrial and domestic users—is the likely cause of the observed declines.”

There are two wells for the Anthem service area, “but these are a backup resource,” said EPCOR spokesperson Rebecca Stenholm. “Because these wells are not the primary source of water for Anthem, and because we continuously recharge water into the underground aquifer, we’re actually putting more water back into the ground than the wells take out.”

Related: Water Woes Run Deep in New River & Desert Hills
wadell dam lake pleasant

Waddell Dam holds back Lake Pleasant, storing water for the Central Arizona Project, which provides water to Anthem and the City of Phoenix. CAP photo by Philip A. Fortnam

This article first published on North Phoenix News.

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