Tusayan Development Still Holds No Water
Backers of a massive development outside the south gate of Grand Canyon National Park were just given a 6 month extension on their application for a water delivery system.
A year ago, Tusayan Ventures, LLC, applied to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for permission to establish a water delivery system to serve about thousands of residential units, hotels, timeshares, and millions of square feet of commercial space. A year later, the developers still haven’t met the requirements. Not only have they been silent on where their water will come from, they have also failed to quantify how much wastewater they will produce and what they will do with it.
We are hopeful that their permit will eventually be denied: the ACC wrote, in their letter to Tusayan Ventures: “Staff would most likely recommend that this docket be closed if the remainder of the information is not submitted by June 1, 2013.” The developers appear to have no plan at all, and it’s unlikely they will get their act together within 6 months.
If you’d like to tell the ACC about your own concerns about providing water for development at the risk of Grand Canyon and Havasupai seeps and springs, you can send a letter here.
The groundwater below Tusayan is 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.