We are extremely grateful for the encouragement and support of our neighbors and communities of the proposed Southeastern Arizona Water District. The support of local and state government is also very much appreciated. That being said, the volunteers who have been working on the SEAZWD have decided to postpone all public meetings until there are sufficient volunteers dedicated to moving this water utility project forward. In the meantime, the website will remain live so that people can access the Frequently Asked Questions page, we will continue efforts to get information out to interested community members, and we will continue accepting sign-up forms if you would like a connection on your property. If you are interested in promoting the SEAZWD and have the time to volunteer, please send an email to [email protected].
A tale of two visions for 2050:
Property owners bear the burden of managing upkeep on their wells, including the costly process to drill deeper. Property values have dropped in recent decades as prospective buyers are wary of purchasing homes in an area that may or may not have water in the future, or it may be too costly to access. The slow economic decline of recent decades accelerates as young talent leaves the valley in search of economic prosperity elsewhere. The negative spiral continues.
However there is an alternative vision. Having recognized the need for residential water across our communities, this area establishes a water district in 2022. The water district provides an economically sustainable way to insure all residents within the district who want access to water, may do so. Because domestic water was addressed locally, residents controlled their own destiny. By doing so, a virtuous cycle of economic prosperity has been started! Home values strengthen as families continue building their legacy in the Sulphur Springs Valley, confident in the long term viability of this area. This allows local business to thrive, which allows more employers to hire more employees which allows more of the local talent to see a viable future for them and their family, right here in Cochise County. The positive cycle continues.
The path to bring this second vision to life is to borrow the bright idea from a century ago, when bringing electricity to rural areas required a shared infrastructure approach. Rural electrification districts were created to fund the establishment of electrical infrastructure to reach rural residents who wanted electricity. And it worked.
Rural water districts are a very similar concept to rural electrification districts. Across America, rural water districts ensure that rural residents have sufficient access to water in their homes. Rural water districts are not for farmers, they are for homeowners.
There are four reasons why a rural water district would benefit homeowners who choose to be part:
- Lower cost. Homeowners who participate in the district will have costs significantly lower than the costs of drilling and maintaining a private well.
- Ensure future water availability. With several deep wells, domestic water will be available for decades to come.
- Maintain independence as a region. By establishing a rural water district we ensure that our water solution for residential users is for locals, run by locals, and is maintained locally not by a private company or outside interest.
- Maintain independence as homeowners. Every individual homeowner within the geography of the water district can choose whether to be part of the district or not.
Those of us who live in the desert have a deep appreciation for the life-giving nature of water. We know the pain of a light monsoon and the blessing of a good monsoon. We know that communities are built around families, and families need reliable and affordable water in the home. Communities thrive where water supply is secure. We believe the Southeastern Arizona Water District can do for local homeowners what Rural Electrification did for America: bring it to life.
Water District Proposal
We are proposing a domestic use Water District covering up to 400 square miles. This water project would include up to 300 miles of pipeline and service as many as 2500 residences and 4000 vacant parcels.
The project will be financed through a combination of grants, principal forgiveness and low interest loans through the USDA. Loans and/or grants are provided if the system is determined to be feasible and the money is available. Loans are normally made over a thirty year period at a stipulated rate of interest. The homeowners monthly base fee will go towards paying back the loan, while the usage fee would go towards operational costs.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
We understand that a water solution for this valley must remain at as low a cost to the user as possible and are keeping that in mind throughout this process. Until we have a sense of engineering, design, and community interest we cannot guess at what costs will look like for an average user. We will be able to give better estimates once the studies are complete.
Currently we are considering a system where costs may be split up between two fees on a monthly bill: a basic service charge (loan repayment) and a usage fee (for those using water).
We are aiming to keep total monthly charges between $70-$95 or below.
All costs will depend on participation.
Meet our Volunteers
SEAZWD is a volunteer led project. If you would like to join us in bringing reliable, affordable and sustainable domestic water to the Sulphur Springs Valley please contact us below!
Southeastern Arizona Water District P.O. Box 576 Pearce, AZ 85625