Congratulating Local Leaders in Cochise Countyby Representative Martha McSally
Posted on 2015-12-15
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate local leaders in
Cochise County, KE&G construction, and Cemex for their outstanding work
on the Palominas Flood Protection and Groundwater Recharge project.
This project is the first-ever aquifer protection and recharge effort
of its kind implemented at a regional scale, and aims to protect flows
of a desert river and its lush streamside habitat while also
replenishing the water supplies of local residents. The Palominas
project embodies the values of the residents of Cochise County who not
only want to ensure protection of our waterways and natural resources,
but are looking for solutions to provide more economic opportunity.
One-size-fits-all requirements from Washington fail to take into
account Arizona's unique landscapes, but the formation of local
partnerships allowed the community to come together to create a
solution to benefit all, including the citizens, businesses, and native
plants and animals.
This project received top state and local honors in Arizona and was recognized internationally for offering a long-term solution to the recurring problem of sheet flow flooding at a local elementary school and the need for aquifer recharge. The project includes a 17 million gallon detention basin that holds storm water runoff, as well as dry wells and infiltration trenches covering 290 acres. These dry wells and infiltration trenches provide additional storage capacity during storms, reduce the loss of water through evaporation, and increase the amount of water recharged into the nearby San Pedro River.
Dennis Donovan, a civil engineer overseeing the project for Cochise County told the Arizona Republic that the project includes the large detention basin with berms to slowly steer the water into a wide channel before spilling over four foot walls that ``slow down the storm water to where, to the best it can, it (sinks and) recharges.'' The water control mechanisms in the basin keep storm water from washing through in a day leaving the basin dry again the next.
The Sierra Vista Herald noted that, ``CEMEX's Sierra Vista Plant joined forces with KE&G Construction to complete the project within a three-month time frame. Working through more than two inches of rainfall, these dynamic teams beat the heaviest rains of the summer monsoon season.'' The health of the San Pedro River is important to Fort Huachuca and the vitality of the surrounding community. Projects like these help to protect the future of the San Pedro River and demonstrate the commitment of the Army and the community to preserving their natural environment.