December 1st: Public Comment Deadline

posted Thursday, November 26, 2009        

Phase II of the City/County Water/Wastewater water study is coming to a close.  Due to budget constraints, the public comment period for the draft report was not publicized, so you only have until December 1st to comment.While we recognize the hard work and countless hours that the committee members and staff put into this effort, we are disappointed with the lack of “outside the box” thinking that is reflected in the draft report.

The report largely serves as a road map for additional growth, arguing that growth should be channeled toward the southeast, where little infrastructure currently exists, or toward greater density in the city’s core, where the infrastructure is aging and may be unable to handle the increased demand.

The elephant in the room that the committee has failed to address is the issue of CAP water and salt.  Specifically, according to some scientific studies, Tucson’s full allotment of CAP water will bring 200,000 metric tons of salt to our valley each year. (The average railroad boxcar holds 100 tons of material.)  While some will privately acknowledge the challenges this presents, no one has been willing to publicly address this issue.  Perhaps it is the cost associated with removing salt from the CAP  water.   These include the construction of a desalinization plant, estimated at close to $500,000 plus the annual operating and maintenance costs, estimated at $25 million, plus the problem of disposing of the waste product.  Doing nothing creates long-term risks to our infrastructure, soil and our health.  This is a problem that requires imaginative problem-solving, and the Phase II report avoided this challenge.

Not only will it be important for our elected officials to hear from you, but continued community involvement in Phase III is crucial.  Phase III will entail the enactment of water and growth policies, and if we are not involved, the only voices the politicians will hear from are the paid staff and the development community (who pay their people to get involved).

You can view the draft report at: Review the supporting documentation at:
Submit comments online at:

Thank you for  your continued concern about the future of our community .
Colette Altaffer
Neighborhood Infill Coalition

Leave a comment