Water Works

Regular TW contributor Dave Devine hasn't quite mastered the blog yet, so he asked me to post this dispatch from a Citizens' Water Advisory Committee meeting he attended earlier this week:

Tucson Water is facing a $15.4 million revenue shortfall through the end of its current fiscal year. The sale of water is $11 million below projections, while fees for new growth are fallen more than $4 million short of the forecast.

Officials at Tucson Water have identified $5.1 million in administrative cuts, including leaving 80 staff positions vacant.

To raise $6.1 million to cover most of the balance of the shortfall, Tucson Water wants to sell 50,000 acres of CAP water to the Arizona Water Banking Authority. Utility officials are considering another one-year sale of between 20,000 and 25,000 acre feet.

Having pushed for several years to control its entire 144,000 acre-foot allocation of CAP water, Tucson Water is being forced to retreat--at least temporarily--from that position.

Tucson Water officials told the Citizens' Water Advisory Committee that the demand for water, including CAP, wasn't as great as predicted. They also said that by 2012, the utility would reclaim the entire CAP allocation.

The Citizens' Water Advisory Committee recommended that the City Council go along with the plan. A council subcommittee will consider the proposition on Wednesday, Jan. 28.