PHOENIX -- Hydrologists this month presented a detailed outline of the Arizona Department of Water Resources updated model for the Pinal Active Management Area groundwater supply.

The presentation, held at ADWR’s offices in Phoenix Nov. 1, included a description of the model update, as well as an analysis of its 100-year assured water supply results in the Pinal AMA.

The presentation, as well as an audio recording of the briefing, and related documents can be found on the ADWR website.

At the outset, ADWR Director Tom Buschatzke told the audience that the Department’s mission for the briefing was two-fold:

“First, we’re here to provide everyone, especially Pinal property owners and other stakeholders, with a deeper understanding of the 2019 Model, and, in the process, engage with the pending applicants and stakeholders.

“It’s our hope that the presentation that you’ll be seeing today will help answer questions about the science of the model as well as our application of the model’s results.”

Buschatzke repeated his issue statement delivered on Oct 11 at a hearing of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Groundwater Supply in Pinal County, observing that the recently completed model results presented a “challenge.”

“Looking out 100 years, there is insufficient groundwater in the Pinal Active Management Area to support all existing uses and issued assured water supply determinations.

“ADWR will engage in a process led by local stakeholders to identify and vet water supply options that could enable continued development while maintaining strong consumer protection.”

Out of a total demand over the 100-year projection (2016-2115) of 80.65 million acre-feet, the model results projected an unmet demand in the Pinal AMA of 8.1 million acre-feet, or roughly ten percent.

The simulated loss of water from storage in the Pinal aquifer over that period of time stands at just under 45 million acre-feet, according to the model.

In addition to the recording and the presentations, the new ADWR web page includes a link to the 2019 Pinal Model Run update in its entirety, as well as a downloadable animation of groundwater conditions in the Pinal AMA over the course of the 100-year period.

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