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Buckeye takes steps to secure water supply

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BUCKEYE — The Buckeye City Council took two steps at a recent meeting to help secure its water supplies in the years ahead.

By unanimously approving its consent agenda at its Nov. 16 meeting, the Council approved both a resolution involving two landowners and an expenditure contribution toward a regional project.

The resolution releases Wingate development landowner F. Ronald Rayner and Stephen W. Grandy of Wingate East from plat obligations and maps of dedication.

This will allow Rayner and Grandy to proceed with de-enrollment from the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District.

Resolution No. 87-21 acknowledges certain subdivision plats and maps of dedication previously approved by the City were never effective as subdivision plats and maps of dedication and relinquishes any rights the city may have with respect to easements and/or rights-of-way dedicated.

Staff reports don’t state what circumstances or aims set the application for de-enrollment in motion.

The city also agreed to spend $400,000 on a study to determine if Bartlett Dam should be modified.

The Council agreed, in principle, to be involved with the study in August, and to learn more, but the Nov. 16 approval was to authorize the $400,000 expenditure.

The city could have chosen to become a non-voting member of the steering committee for the dam study for only a $30,000 contribution.

Instead, Buckeye will be a voting member, thus ensuring its voice will be heard in an attempt to become one of the westernmost communities receiving fresh water supplies from Bartlett Dam.

The study is not anticipated to be completed until the end of 2026.

The study, which is already approved by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, will look into increasing the height of Bartlett Dam by as much as 97 feet.

Such a move would capture more renewable surface water for cities like Buckeye and dozens of other Valley communities.

Several other municipalities have agreed to participate and also contribute to the study. These include Peoria, Tempe and Scottsdale.

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, as a federally recognized tribe with a direct interest in water stored in Bartlett Reservoir, will be a voting member of the steering committee, irrespective of its annual contribution level.

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