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Flagstaff Drills Its First Water Well In 12 Years

Flagstaff will soon add a new water well to its inventory. The drilling of a second groundwater well at Fort Tuthill County Park began back in February. Drilling this well is part of the city’s mid-to-long term water policy and the subsequent ten-year capital plan initiated after the 2002 drought left Upper Lake Mary reservoir nearly dry, resulting in water shortages throughout the city. This is the first of five wells in the plan to add resiliency to the city’s water supply and serve as a safety net against climate change and resulting drought, forest fires or infrastructure failure. Groundwater wells average 65-percent of the city’s potable water supply since 1950. The city has drilled 30 groundwater wells to the aquifer over the last 65 years. This well is anticipated to provide a flow rate of at least 250 gallons per minute, and as high as 12-hundred gallons per minute, augmenting the southwest area of Flagstaff’s distribution system. While the city’s overall water supply will benefit from the resources provided by this and future wells, the cost is paid for using capacity fees, paid by new developments for their water connections. The city says it does not impact user rates.