Pinal County Water Element Task Force

M&A was part of a team that included legal, hydrologic, and communications specialists whose work led to unanimous agreement by a Citizens Task Force to recommend that Pinal County modify its zoning approval process. The Board of Supervisors adopted the amendment in January 2012; as a result, approval for new projects in Pinal County hinges on the availability of water supplies and requires an estimate of demand.

Overview

In 2010, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors was unable to reach consensus on whether the availability of water supplies should be considered as part of its Planning & Zoning applications. To address this stalemate, they appointed a 10-member Citizens Task Force to develop recommendations for an amendment to its 2011 Comprehensive Plan that would clarify its water planning requirements. M&A was part of team that was hired to facilitate this process and provide the Task Force, Planning & Zoning Commission, and Board of Supervisors with relevant technical, policy, and planning information. The team of water resource, legal, and public relations professionals included WestLand Resources, M&A, Snell & Wilmer, and The Caliber Group.

Services

The Task Force examined how the County could use its planning and zoning authority to promote responsible development and consider its physically available water supplies.

  • Inventoried and summarized potentially available, renewable water supplies in Pinal County, including unused CAP contracts, effluent, and long-term storage credits
  • Worked closely with ADWR and CAP staff to quantify current water demand, CAP contracts, and CAGRD memberships in Pinal County
  • Provided regular updates at public meetings of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning & Zoning Commission
  • Facilitated a 10-member task force representing diverse geographical areas and interests, including municipalities, private developers, large utilities, and the Arizona State Land Department
  • Authored white papers on renewable water supplies and the relationship between rezoning applications and physically available groundwater supplies
  • Facilitated a joint work session to consider the task force recommendations for incorporation into a comprehensive plan amendment