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Big Chino Water Ranch Project


The Comprehensive Agreement No. 1, Fourth Annual Report (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) is now available

On September 12, 2017, City Council approved an amendment to the USGS Joint Funding Agreement for the collection of geochemistry data.

The City of Prescott water service area is located within the Prescott Active Management Area (PrAMA) and also extends into the Town of Chino Valley, the Reservation of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, and some surrounding unincorporated areas of Yavapai County. The City of Prescott is the only designated water provider in the PrAMA with a 100-year Assured Water Supply.

A photo of Big Chino Water Ranch

The City’s current water system is complex with six (6) wells in Chino Valley. The water is pumped into a five (5) million gallon reservoir at the Chino Production Facility, and from there pumps convey it to Prescott via high-pressure water mains. Thirty (30) water storage tanks/reservoirs and thirty-eight (38) booster stations are maintained to provide water throughout more than sixty-six (66) pressure zones that serve the City. The thirty (30) storage tanks contain up to thirty-four (34) million gallons of storage. Two (2) additional wells have been drilled near the City Airport to meet existing and future demands in the area. The City's water quality is excellent, requires very little treatment, and is monitored daily to ensure the highest quality.

A photo of Big Chino Water Ranch

In January 1999, the Arizona Department of Water Resources declared that the PrAMA was no longer in safe-yield. This triggered full implementation of the Assured Water Supply Rules, requiring that only renewable or imported water supplies from outside of the PrAMA be utilized for new subdivisions within the PrAMA.

For more information contact Leslie Graser, Water Resource Manager for the City of Prescott:

201 S Cortez Street
Prescott AZ 86303
Phone: 928-777-1100
Fax: 928-777-1255

Basics of the Big Chino Water Ranch

  • The Big Chino Water Ranch is comprised of 4,582.1 acres (7.2 sq. mi.) of deeded lands and 1,948.6 acres (3.0 sq. mi.) of Arizona State Land within Yavapai County. The ranch is within the Big Chino Sub-basin of the Verde River Watershed; the sub-basin is defined by the State of Arizona to comprise 1,850 square miles of private, state and federal ownership.
    Major Land Features and the Big Chino Water Ranch Map
  • The City of Prescott is a 54.1% partner and the Town of Prescott Valley a 45.9% partner in water from the BCWR.
    Contract No. 2004-255
  • Section 45-555, Arizona Revised Statutes, allows for the transportation of groundwater by Prescott AMA (PrAMA) municipalities from the Big Chino Sub-basin for use inside the PrAMA.
    A.R.S. §45-555

Agreement in Principle and Comprehensive Agreement No. 1

Two agreements have been entered into by three parties that consist of the City of Prescott, Town of Prescott Valley, and the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement & Power District and the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association.

Agreement in Principle (February 11, 2010)- A conceptual framework which set forth principles guiding the parties and forming the basis for more detailed future agreements addressing specific terms including groundwater modeling, groundwater and surface water monitoring, and mitigation (if necessary) associated with future pumping from the City’s Big Chino Water Ranch and importation of water into the Prescott Active Management Area.

Comprehensive Agreement No. 1 (October 5, 2012) - An agreement that addresses monitoring and modeling in the Big Chino Sub-Basin, with the addition of mutual recognition of certain water rights arising from the Prescott Active Management Area.

Past Announcements

Requests for Statements of Qualifications
Contract for Groundwater Flow Modeling within the Big Chino Sub-basin