Water costs wither local farming heritage
A long time ago, when Chino Valley was small, there were large farms and ranches as far as the eye could see. For Chino Valley, farming was a way of life.
Today, farms are very few and far between, and the farming lifestyle so vibrant in Chino Valley and vital to its identity appears to be eroding like soil in the wind.
Farming is becoming more expensive nowadays due to the rising cost of pumping water. According to Chino Valley Town Manager Carl Tenney, agricultural pursuits use three to five acre-feet of water per acre, whereas homes use a lot less.
"Another thing that's changing agriculture in Chino Valley is the agreement between the City of Prescott and the Chino Valley Irrigation District (CVID) shareholders, which was completed in 1998," Tenney said. "Under that agreement, the City of Prescott acquired Willow and Watson Lakes from CVID and agreed to provide water to the farmers. However, (the farmers) do have to pay something for the water."