Letter: Water policy
RE: Prescott City Council DRAFT water policy changes
Recently I visited the city’s website to read the proposed new water policies, citizen questions, and the city’s responses. What struck me was the fact that no CONTEXT was provided.
What is/are the PROBLEM(S) the city is trying to address?
What is the JUSTIFICATION for each of the proposed water policy changes?
What is the IMPACT ANALYSIS for each proposed change on stakeholders, citizens, growth, quality of life, groundwater supplies, safe yield, etc.?
What are the FINANCIAL COSTS/BENEFITS of the proposed changes?
Adopting any water policy changes without considering these questions could conceivably result in unforeseen, and unwanted, consequences. The City Council needs to execute due diligence here and slow down the process.
My other concern relates to the fact that the city does not currently have a water management plan that assures our water future (the “vision”) and the achievement of safe yield by 2025 (a “goal”). A PLAN is a comprehensive, coherent, written document that contains the vision and the goals, measurable objectives, strategies, timelines, and monitoring procedures to achieve the vision.
Policies are derived from the plan. The purpose of policies is to execute the strategies outlined in the plan, and thus achieve the goals and vision of the plan.
Lacking a water management plan to inform policy, the city should put its proposed water policy changes on hold, and focus FIRST on developing a long-term plan (10+ years) that contains the items above. THEN, and only then, does it make sense to adopt policies that are needed to address the plan.