Sierra Club, Arizona's Grand Canyon Chapter: Tusayan Development Still Holds No Water

December 18, 2012

The following appears on the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter website

Backers of a massive development outside the south gate of Grand Canyon National Park have yet to disclose where they will get their water.

A year ago, Tusayan Ventures, LLC, applied to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for permission to establish a water delivery system (a “Certificate of Convenience and Necessity” or “CC&N”) to serve about 2,400 residential units, hotels, timeshares, three million square feet of commercial space, and a dude ranch and spa. A year later, the developers still have not met the CC&N requirements. Not only have they been silent on where their water will come from, they have also failed to quantify how much wastewater the developments will produce and what they will do with that wastewater.

The groundwater below Tusayan is hydrologically connected to seeps and springs in Grand Canyon National Park and on Havasupai Tribal land. According to a National Park Service report, after wells were drilled in Tusayan and nearby Valle in 1994, Cottonwood Creek turned from perennial to intermittent and Pumphouse Spring’s flow began declining. We don’t know conclusively whether increased water demand led to these changes, but until we fully understand the impacts of wells on Grand Canyon’s springs, we should not allow new wells to be drilled.

Sierra Club joined Grand Canyon National Park, the Havasupai Tribe, Grand Canyon Trust, former Coconino County Supervisor Carl Taylor, and the South Grand Canyon Sanitary District (Tusayan’s wastewater management agency) in expressing serious concern over Tusayan Ventures’ plans. We encourage you to submit your concerns, too!

Here is a link to the Sierra Club to learn more.