(Apache Junction, AZ) A large new project is expected to house upwards of one million people, yet there is not enough water to complete this large-scale development.
The Superstition Vistas are an upcoming planned development project that includes up to 175,000 acres of desert land. In an early report it was expected that 900,000 people could be living in these vistas in 2060.
“This area could become a desirable place to live, work and play; a place where urban and rural lifestyles blend in harmony; and a showcase of national and international best practices in designing a sustainable desert community,” according to the Superstition Vistas website.
Approximately up to 11,000 homes will be built in this area. Also schools, stores, parks and public safety facilities.
In April Bryant Powell, Apache Junction City Manager, brought ABC15 to the location of where the vistas will be built. The vistas are being built in the Superstition Mountains in the Apache Junction. They will be just south of Elliot Road, bordered west by Meridian Road, east by Idaho Road, and south near Ray Road.
Powell talked about the importance of a long term water supply for this project. They were only able to secure four square miles of water for this land, at the moment, so it is necessary for the Pinal Water management and the active management areas, AMA, to work together and find a long term solution.
In 2016 the AZ AMAs did a study to see the differences between the AMAs in Arizona’s counties. According to the study, 82% of the state’s population is within these AMAs: Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott, Tucson and Harquahala.
AMAs were created when, “The 1980 Arizona Groundwater Code recognized the need to aggressively manage the state’s finite groundwater resources to support the growing population and economy,” azwater.gov.
The study acknowledged that the Pinal AMA just needed to preserve the water supply they already had and safe non-used water for future needs. Now with the new Superstition Vistas coming in, the Pinal AMA will need to find new ways to add more water supply to this barren desert land.
With other states near Arizona starting to reenact drought procedures it looks that Arizona may be next which can severely affect the Superstition Vistas.
Sheri Trapp, communications manager with AMWUA for Maricopa, said that in Maricopa County there are currently no restrictions in place regarding water usage.
With the large quantity of people they are expecting to move into this land, water supply is critical.
If you would like more information about the state’s different AMAs you can look here.