Question of the Month

Jul 20th, 2013 | By | Category: Lead Article, Question of the Month

Sahuarita LakeQ. Why is the water level at Sahuarita Lake so low?

A.The town of Sahuarita recently performed inspections on Sahuarita Lake. In order to facilitate the inspections, water levels were lowered by pumping water from the lake to an empty basin north of North Santa Cruz park. Officials discovered the lake is losing more water than expected, as the result of leaks in the concrete walls of the manmade lake. The lake is expected to lose 65 acre-feet of water a year (one acre foot = 325,000 gallons). In recent years, the lake had been losing
an additional 20 acre feet a year beyond the 65 acre feet allocation. The excess loss means the town loses some water recharge credits it receives from its recharge facility near the wastewater treatment plant. The credits have a current value of $426 per acre foot and they could double that value in the next 10 years. Repairing the leaks should reduce the annual consumption by 10 acre feet. The Sahuarita Town Council has approved 2 contracts to repair the walls. In the meantime, watercraft is prohibited and officials have asked people to use caution when in the lake area.

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