Is Prescott Running out of Water?

Jerry Cecil
Published on March 19, 2019

Is Prescott Running out of Water?

This is a common concern with people moving to the Prescott area. The answer; not really. The city of Prescott gets its water from a ground water source called the Little Chino Aquifer which is located 25 miles north of Prescott. The Little Chino Aquifer contains between 2 and 10 million acre feet of water. Prescott pumps about 6500 acre feet per year from the Little Chino.

Though the pumping from the Little Chino doesn’t seem like much, it has lowered the water table in Chino Valley. Some existing wells are now not deep enough to reach the water supply. Though Prescott’s population has increased since 2006, its pumping of the Little Chino has decreased. The decrease in use is a result of the following;

  1. Prescott over pumped the Little Chino for many years and is becoming more realistic about what it uses
  2. Prescott has been recharging the aquifer with affluent which helps the aquifer recover.
  3. The culture of Prescott is of low water use. Most homes don’t have lawns or swimming pools. There aren’t many golf courses. Most businesses don’t have grass and use low water use plants.

Overall the future looks good for a sustained water source in the Prescott area even with many more people moving to the area. The important thing is that Prescott focuses its use on the Little Chino. There are much larger aquifers, Like the Big Chino Aquifer, to the north that dwarf the Little Chino. But pumping from the Big Chino will no doubt reduce the flow of the Verde River.