Scottsdale has submitted an application seeking a federal grant to the tune of $1.5 million to help fund the municipal aquifer storage and recovery project.
The city of Scottsdale applied for the WaterSMART Grant application in hopes to embolden efforts to shore up needs in the event of a drought.
In addition, the project will increase efforts to continue to preserve underground water, according to Public Information Officer Nicole Sherbert.
“We are looking for ways to maximize our water supply now,” she said. “One of the great ways to do that is to take that excess water we don’t need and store that water underground.”
Arizona serves is more susceptible to longterm impacts of drought --- the main catalyst for looking ahead, says Water Policy Manager Gretchen Baumgardner.
“The idea is that we can store that water for times of drought or for times when we need it,” she explained. “We are doing this to keep our water supply even more resilient than the regulatory framework requires us to.”
The city of Scottsdale can continue to pull water from places such as its allocation from the Colorado River but that river will stop flowing at some point, Ms. Sherbert warns.
“The Colorado River is going to be in a shortage at some point. Although we don’t know when that will happen, we know that one day there will be a shortage in that river,” she said.
City leaders plan to create four different aquifer sites.
“There’s other storage facilities in the Phoenix metropolitan area and there’s not many of those available to us. It’s a well and it puts water underneath our feet so at some point we can recover it,” Ms. Baumgardner said.
The city of Scottsdale has taken great pride in its preparedness, officials contend.
“We have done really extensive planning, and that starts at the state level and travels down to Scottsdale who has done an exceptional job as well,” Ms. Sherbert explained.
--- Nicole Sherbert
Whether or not the city receives the grant, the ASR project is still full steam ahead. This project has been in the works for almost four years but receiving the grant would create greater opportunities for the project to continue moving forward.
“The $1.5 million dollars is actually a small portion of the entire overall budget of this project. However, the $1.5 million would be great and if there is a way to save our ratepayers 1.5 million dollars, we obviously are going to go for it,”
Ms. Sherbert said. “But it will not make or break this project if we don’t receive the funds from the federal government.”
The early stages of construction of the first well has begun at the corner of Deer Valley and Hayden roads.
“We can’t stop now we have to continue to look at what’s next, and how can we continue to make sure we are in a good water situation for the next 40 years,” Ms. Sherbert said.
News Reporter Benjamin Garcia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org