Joe Cook of the Arizona Geological Survey on the future of Cochise County
“Agriculture exploded there over the past few decades. And, with no limit on pumping water, Cochise County will continue to have the most dramatic land subsidence in the state.”
Joe Cook, Arizona Geological Survey
Ground Fissures Indicate Groundwater Depletion
The residents in the Willcox, AZ Basin have been alarmed by the precipitous drop in the groundwater levels in the areas of the Willcox basin. National and local reporting of the devastation to family wells recorded the impact.
Now we can see (as reported in the Oct. 13, 2020 issue of the Herald/Review) the physical manifestation of the depletion of the underground aquifer – ground fissures in the Cochise area of Cochise county.
“A tour of rangeland adjacent to Cochise Stronghold Road with the Spencers showed a three quarter–mile long scar, visible from satellite, and a second, smaller fissure opening just a few feet east of it. The fissures run north to south across the rangeland and the largest is anywhere from two feet to nine feet deep and three to five feet across. All the land to the east of the fissure has dropped about two to four feet. Small sinkholes are also popping up along the fissures.”
“Dry wells, land subsidence and fissures are all connected and adding to the dismay of many people living in the northeastern corner of Cochise County.
Land subsidence and fissures are hallmark indicators of loss of groundwater in an aquifer.”
A Herald/Review Oct 16, 2020 editorial titled “Willcox is running out of time” ended with this plea
“As unwanted as regulation may be for farmers, business owners and some residents in the region, providing for a future that allows northeast Cochise County to survive and grow responsibility will require leadership and some form of authority that prevents the overconsumption of water.
We hope that happens before it’s too late.”
Commentary by Bob Karp
The water availability crisis is not theoretical, nor is it something that COULD happen 50 years from now. For the people of the Willcox basin, it is here now! Our current elected state legislators for district 14 have either avoided any serious discussion of this problem, made meaningless public slogans like believing in “water conservation”, or actively killed any legislation that would begin to address the crisis.
I have indicated that if elected, I will either introduce specific legislation or support other legislative efforts to give the Arizona Department of Water Resources the tools to get the science right as well as give county governments more control of overconsumption of water.
To get leadership on this issue we need to change the Arizona State Senate. We can do this by voting out the incumbents representing LD14 in the State Legislature.
For more information on this website, about the crisis in the Willcox area click here.