Local News

Stilo Still Can't Identify Water Supply For Massive Development. Coconino County Supervisor and The Supt. Of The Grand Canyon National Park Worry About Impact

August 9, 2012

Stilo’s plans to plop thousands of residents and two million square feet of commercial space into Tusayan are facing a major hurdle. The water supply issue is looming and there is no visible solution.

The Arizona  Department of Water resources requires  a study to prove a 100 year water supply and a water service provider or utility. The creation of that utility is stalled because there is no visible water supply.

 Stilo has applied for a certificate convenience and necessity but it has not been accepted. Stilo keeps asking for extensions.  On July 23, Stilo asked for another 120 days.

Coconino County Supervisor Carl Taylor is worried about the fragile water supplies that feed the Grand Canyon and the Havasupai tribal community. And he has good reason. The Tribal Council and the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park have also expressed their concerns.

 Taylor sent a letter to the Corporation Commission. It states,

 “I am the County Supervisor whose District includes the hamlet of Tusayan. I share the concerns expressed by the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon Park in his letter of June 6,2012. Many stakeholders in and around Tusayan have been concerned about the scale of proposed development at this gateway community to the National Park. Specifically, the concern has been about impact on vital seeps and springs in the Canyon and its tributaries due to excessive withdrawal of groundwater. A much smaller proposed development was voted down by Coconino County voters a few years ago because of the lack of a credible plan for sustainable water use. Unless and until the developers of the proposed large developments in Tusayan produce a credible (independently validated) and sustainable plan for water use associated with the operations, I am opposed to issuance of the requested Certificate of Convenience and Necessity.”

Here is an excerpt of Superintendent David Uberuaga’s letter to the Corporation Commission

“Although Tusayan Ventures has not identified the source of water supply for the proposed development in Tusayan, the groundwater in the regional Redwall-Muav aquifer under the Coconino Plateau is a likely target for water supply to this new development. Existing research cited in the attached paper supports the conclusion that groundwater extraction via wells may adversely impact spring flow and spring ecosystems below the South Rim, especially between Havasu Creek and the Little Colorado River. However, an overall evaluation of the likelihood of water resource injury due to the proposed developments is necessary to understand the full scope of the impacts attributable to the increase in groundwater use resulting from Tusayan Ventures’CC&N.”

Here is a link to the correspondence and the support material. http://images.edocket.azcc.gov/docketpdf/0000137832.pdf

Stilo’s legal maneuvering has produced lots of paperwork, but so far not a drop of additional water to feed its massive development project.