Prescott Area Water Milestones

Date

Explanation

1863

Gold rush near Prescott, water appropriations begin, including Del Rio Springs for first territorial government and military

1864

Prescott established

1864

First State Water Code (Howell Code)

1865

Camp Verde established, irrigation in Verde Valley begins

1867

Jack Swilling and miners from Prescott start irrigating in Salt River Valley to raise crops for Prescott-area miners and settlers

1881

Shallow wells dug on courthouse square for fire fighting

1884

Miller Creek and Mt. Vernon reservoirs constructed for fire protection

1898

Prescott passes bond for Potts and Aspen Creek reservoir (but were never built). President McKinley designates

Prescott Forest Preserve for watershed protection for the City reservoirs.

1900

Prescott downtown burns down, main town well was out of service and unavailable for fire-fighting

1901

Pumping from Del Rio Springs to Prescott begins

1902

Newlands Reclamation Act initiates SRP and Roosevelt Dam

1911

Roosevelt Dam Completed

1916

Hassayampa Canal Company formed, construction begins on Granite Creek Dam (Watson Lake) to irrigate in Chino Valley

1919

State Water Code enacted

1922

Colorado River Compact – Arizona refused to ratify until 1941

1929

Prescott builds lower Granite Creek  infiltration gallery well for municipal supply, pumping from Del Rio is discontinued

1931

Southwest Cotton case begins – first groundwater/surface water decision

1933

Prescott constructs Goldwater Dams for Municipal water supply

1940’s

Large-scale groundwater pumping begins, Big and Little Chino

1945

First well registration – agriculture wells in critical groundwater basins

1948

Critical Groundwater Basins delineated, registration of agricultural wells implemented

1948

Prescott drills deep wells in Chino Valley for municipal water supply.  Replaces surface water sources near Prescott

1963

Arizona v. California decision in S Supreme Court determines Arizona’s right to CAP water

1966

Prescott Valley Inc. begins selling lots in Prescott Valley

1968

CAP Authorized, federal subsidies for Central Arizona

1970

Town of Chino Valley is incorporated

1973

Adequate Water Supply Rules initiated as a result of land fraud cases throughout Arizona, including Prescott Valley

1973

Construction begins on CAP to bring Colorado River water to Maricopa, Pinal and Pima Counties

1976

SRP files a petition to adjudicate water rights on the Verde River system

1977

President Carter puts CAP funding on hold

1977

Prescott begins looking to Big Chino for water supply

1978

Town of Prescott Valley is incorporated

1980

Groundwater Management Act, ADWR established, CAP funding ensured

1983

ADWR allocates CAP water to Prescott and Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe – 7,667 af

1985

First CAP water delivered to Harquahala Valley Irrigators

1991

Prescott purchases Dugan Ranch and Weber Ranch in Big Chino for importation project

Mid-1990’s

Municipal water use exceeds water use for Agriculture in Prescott AMA

1999

Prescott AMA declared to be mining groundwater by ADWR Director, new subdivisions cannot be platted based on

Prescott AMA groundwater

2004

Prescott purchases Big Chino Water Ranch, forms partnership with Prescott Valley

2009

Prescott prevails in challenges to Big Chino water rights, final decision is 8,067 af in 45-555(E)

2010

SRP, Prescott and Prescott Valley reach a settlement agreement on water rights to the Big Chino

2012

SRP, Prescott and Prescott Valley reach supplemental agreement to increase hydrologic monitoring network in

Big Chino Sub-basin and to correct the USGS regional groundwater model. 

2013

ADWR releases update of Prescott AMA Groundwater Model

2013

ADWR releases draft Fourth Management Plan for Prescott AMA

 
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