Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition to identify recharge projects with grant
The Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition, a partnership between the Towns of Prescott Valley and Chino Valley, the City of Prescott, Yavapai County Government, and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, has accepted a $150,000 grant from the Nature Conservancy to develop an Upper Verde Stormwater Management Project Plan.
The Town of Prescott Valley Council, as fiduciary for the UVRWPC, approved acceptance of the grant in August.
Prescott Valley Town Council Member April Hepperle also serves as the Chair of the Coalition Executive Board.
“Stormwater management planning will result in a strategic direction to improve overall watershed health, and optimize recharge,” she said. “This is another example of the Coalition’s commitment to supporting regional cooperation when addressing water supply issues that impact every resident living in the watershed.”
The Plan will identify at least 20 different projects across the Big and Little Chino subbasins aimed at increasing the recharge of water into aquifers in the Prescott Active Management Area and the entire Upper Verde watershed.
One of the key projects may include help for landowners who want to “harvest” rainwater from their rooftops and recharge it into the aquifer. The UVRWPC is currently engaging in several pilot rainwater harvesting projects at the Yavapai County facility in Dewey/Humboldt, the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, Chino Valley’s Territorial School, and its Public Library.
These projects are being promoted to encourage more broad form use of rainwater harvesting throughout the AMA. Harvesting rainwater into French Drain and other systems minimizes the opportunity for more evaporation and transpiration and speeds recharge wherever it is implemented.
Recharged water becomes part of the drinking water system, mitigating the need for a secondary, non-potable system for captured rainwater, or an expensive storage system. There is no algae and mosquito growth that are often associated with traditional systems.
A master plan made possible by the Nature Conservancy grant will create a road map for attaining additional grant money to implement identified projects.