What does water conservation have to do with saving the Granite Dells or the Granite Dells Regional Park & Preserve?
Everything! Water fills our rivers, lakes, and reservoirs for recreation, sustains wildlife and valuable riparian landscapes like the Granite Creek corridor, and connects us to the Verde River—our common life thread throughout all of the Yavapai County region.
Water keeps us alive, flows through our communities, and fills up our glasses. It’s the limiting factor for new growth and development. Water is essential to every aspect of life, and as our most precious resource a secure water future is imperative to a secure community future for Prescott and the surrounding area for generations to come.
The Water Problem—
Threats to a Secure Water Future in the Quad Cities Area
Water experts have been sounding the alarm on an imperiled water supply for decades, and it’s time we got serious about addressing the crisis before it’s too late.
The following issues pose significant threats to a sustainable and secure water future for the Quad Cities area and beyond:
What lands are included in the proposed regional park?Thanks to good work over the years by the Prescott City Council, Open Space Advisory Committee, and open space advocates, the seeds have already been planted for an amazing regional park to grow from! The starting point would include Watson and Willow Lake Parks, Watson Woods, Constellation Trails, the Peavine and Iron King Trails, the Granite Gardens trails, and other city-owned open space parcels. Land exchange or acquisition of State Trust, County, and private lands would be authorized and pursued within the Park’s administrative acquisition boundary.
How would lands be acquired for the proposed regional park?Any remaining undeveloped lands within the administrative acquisition boundary of the regional park could be priorities for fair-market purchase, conservation easements, or deed restrictions (donations would be accepted too, of course!). Until the point that willing landowners choose to convey their lands into the park, those lands will remain in private ownership and private control.
How would a regional park be paid for?A Granite Dells Regional Park is a nationally significant opportunity for community-based conservation. This can be an “if you build it, they will come” example of smart regional planning. If the Prescott Region decides that this is what we want for the Granite Dells and surrounding lands, it won’t be hard to secure government grants, non-profit foundational support, and major philanthropic donations to support land purchases or other conservation agreements. Local, state and federal government sources of funding for community park development currently exist and would be easily secured if stakeholders and partners show a coordinated level of interest and commitment to see the plan through.
Who would benefit from a Granite Dells Regional Park?The benefits from a regional park would be instant, enduring, and sustainable for generations! This Park would better the lives of people in Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley – residents and visitors alike – with access to healthy recreational and educational experiences in our municipalities. Our children and all future generations would be able to experience the beauty and wild western character provided by this park in the heart of a growing metropolitan region. If we choose, this Park could preserve the history of the Yavapai people who once lived in the Dells; the Prescott railroad, which is now the Peavine Trail; the Chino agricultural era, which built the Willow and Watson Dams; the old Granite Dells Resort; by-gone ranching days; and more remarkable moments in Prescott’s rich history. In addition, the park would protect essential habitat for our beloved wildlife.
Does the proposed regional park have any ecological values?Yes! The Granite Dells Regional Park is the nexus of significant wildlife corridors that connect Glassford Hill to U.S. Forest Service lands to the south and west. The Granite Creek floodplain, which is not developable, is another wildlife corridor connecting the Dells to the vast Chino Valley grasslands. Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, waterfowl, mammals, and many other species would continue to live in and thrive in the middle of a growing city.
The Water Solution—
Acknowledging & Avoiding a Potential Future Water Crisis
Water experts widely agree that in addition to individual measures for water conservation, there must be structural and regional actions taken as well.
The following solutions have been proposed to begin addressing the most urgent aspects of the water crisis:
Foster regional cooperation across Yavapai County to create a coordinated and sustainable water resource management plan.
Limit growth and additional water users according to the volume needed to attain sustainable yield.
Prohibit groundwater use for landscape irrigation.
Refuse water service without annexation in future subdivisions of any size.
Require all new subdivisions to be groundwater neutral, that is zero net groundwater consumption.
Save the Dells proudly supports The Citizens Water Advocacy Group as the leading expert group on local and regional water issues. Learn more about our water and what you can do to help at their website below.