Buckeye to move forward with $80 million water rights agreement

Feb 2, 2023, 1:00 PM

(City of Buckeye Photo)...

(City of Buckeye Photo)

(City of Buckeye Photo)

PHOENIX – A West Valley city has secured a source of water for a minimum 100 years after approving an $80 million deal this week.

The Buckeye City Council approved the purchase agreement to buy 1 acre in Harquahala Valley in western Maricopa County during a special meeting Monday.

The land comes with rights to an annual allocation of 5,926 acre-feet of water.

“The approval of this purchase agreement was more than a year in the making,” Mayor Eric Orsborn said in a press release.

“This is a major step toward ensuring our current and future residents enjoy a great quality of life,” he said.

Funding was part of the current Fiscal Year budget, which was approved last June.

It will take up to 180 days to complete the deal.

Earlier this month, the Arizona Department of Water Resources released a report on the 100-year outlook of groundwater in the Hassayampa sub-basin in the West Valley.

The area is projected to fall 15% below Assured Water Supply limits, short of pumping demands.

Buckeye said that homes and businesses currently developed is assured of a water supply but that new developments cannot be built without the 100-year water supply, except for build-to-rent communities.

Buckeye expects its population to reach 310,800 by 2040, according to its long-range blueprint, which noted 27 master-planned communities in the works.

The city said it identified the plot of land in the water resources plan in 2020 and that other water resources were being pursued.

“The Council and I appreciate every effort Water Resources staff has accomplished so far, knowing there are other opportunities on the horizon,” Orsborn said.

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Buckeye to move forward with $80 million water rights agreement