Events and News

Posted on: October 25, 2017

Notice of Proposed Increase in Water Rights Preservation Fee

Notice of Proposed Increase in Fee

In accordance with A.R.S. §9-499.15, public notice is hereby given that the Show Low City Council will consider increasing the water rights preservation fee on February 6, 2018, but in no event sooner than 60 days after the posting date of this notice.

The current fee is $0.75 per connection per month and is proposed to increase to $1.50 per connection per month.

Background:  The water rights preservation fee was established by the Show Low City Council on June 1, 2010, to protect and preserve the water rights of the City of Show Low. The city is an active participant in the Little Colorado River Coalition, which consists of cities, towns, irrigation districts, and other private parties whose goal is to preserve their water rights in the Little Colorado River Adjudication. The coalition has hired attorneys to represent its members in the adjudication. The fee is used to pay the attorneys to represent the City of Show Low as a member of the coalition.

In addition, the city has acquired rights through an agreement with the Show Low-Woodland Irrigation Company in Show Low Lake. Pursuant to that agreement, the city pays attorneys to protect the water rights in Show Low Lake and other waters that feed Show Low Lake.

Recently, in the adjudication, the Special Master has set a trial date on the Hopi Tribe’s assertions. This trial is scheduled for September 2018. The impending trial has caused fees and costs to increase. The city strongly feels that the users of the water should pay to preserve the rights to that water. An increase of $0.75 in the fee will allow the city to pay the costs in the adjudication and other actions to protect the water rights and also build the fund to pay future costs in the Hopi Tribe and, later, Navajo Nation trials.

The increased fee will be imposed pursuant to Section 3-4-1 of the Show Low City Code. If passed, the new rate will be effective March 9, 2018.


Written Report:  The city began collecting $0.75 per connection per month in 2010. From July 1, 2010 to November 2017, the city has collected $406,624 in fees. During this same time frame, the city has spent $340,863 on preserving water rights. This leaves a current balance of $65,761 in the water preservation account.

The average monthly collections for 2017 have been $5,083. Average monthly expenditures for 2017 have been $11,147. Based on the data, it is clear that the current fee is not adequate to cover the recent average monthly expenditures going forward.

Due to the declining balance in the water preservation account, the city is proposing a fee increase to $1.50 per connection per month. This increase will generate approximately $10,164 per month, with future residential collections comprising approximately 90% of the customers (or 7,374), for a total of $9,193 per month and nonresidential customers at 10% of the total customers (or 779) for a total of $971 per month. These future collections, when combined with the current account balance, should be enough to cover future expenditures.


For more information, contact Administrative Services Director Justin Johnson at jjohnson@showlowaz.gov or call (928) 532-4024.

Amended posting date:  December 7, 2017


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