Inscription Canyon Water Company official NOTICES and Member Update:
NOTICE of upcoming 2022/23 Board of Directors Election:
There will be two positions open for election this December. Candidate nomination forms and a schedule of deadlines will be published in the next billing cycle. Ballots will be mailed and counted in December, with results being announced in January of 2023. All members are encouraged to participate.
NOTICE of commencement of Rate Case:
The increasing costs of power, equipment, purchased water and services are all contributing to rising costs of operations. These increases have required us to commence a rate increase request with the AZ Corporation Commission. As a non-profit utility, we are required by the State to maintain financial viability by managing both our rates and expenses. The guidelines from the Corporation Commission for our type of operation is that the company be cashflow positive and may have a net operating surplus of up to 6%. In order to accomplish this, we will be working with a financial consultant to justify a rate increase to permit the company to continue to meet these criteria. Our most recent estimate is that this increase in rates will be approximately 12-15%. Note that there has not been an increase in water rates since 2009. We anticipate that this be effective in Q1 of 2023. There will be additional communications regarding this process as it proceeds.
Member Update: (Please see www.ICWC.info for ongoing updates)
This has been a very active year due to the loss of TRR well #2 in May and the large number of new homes and infrastructure installations joining the systems. There has also been a substantial amount of planned preventative maintenance and improvements performed.
There are currently approximately 165 new lots being developed throughout the 4 developments that the ICWC serves. As of July 2022, we are up to 790 residential customers with an additional 150 construction and commercial users. As forecast, we should hit 1000 meters by the end of the year.
Homes continue to be built on sold lots in Inscription Canyon, Talking Rock Ranch and the Preserve and developers are selling/building lots and homes in both Whispering Canyon and Talking Rock Ranch. Utility infrastructure is fully completed in Sterling Ranch (TRR) and Whispering Canyon phase 5 and is currently being installed for Whispering Canyon phases 6 and 7. Future installations are in planning for Cooper Hawk Ridge (TRR) and Whispering Canyon phase 11.
Replacement of TRR well #2
The structural failure of TRR well #2 occurred just prior to Memorial Day. It appears that the casing was either installed improperly or it was so corroded that it collapsed. The well was caved in below the depth of about 100feet, which rendered it a backup source at best. Once the fall months arrive, we will inspect the other two TRR wells. Because the failure occurred at the worst possible time from a capacity perspective, the decision was made to replace the well at a nearby location and to cap the failed well for possible future rehabilitation. The permitting, drilling, casing, testing and equipment for the new well cost approximately $135K. Fortunately, our practice of maintaining reserves for this type of expenditure allowed us to pay for this without adversely affecting our regular operating finances.
During the 9-week period that it took to replace the well, the golf course water was heavily rationed, and this caused the golf course management to reduce or stop irrigation of many of the non-playable portions of the course such as the practice range. Fortunately, mother nature helped us all out with a very active monsoon season. Many of the irrigation reduction measures will stay in place as standard operations procedures at the golf course for the future. TRR well #4 is now operational and is close to the production that it’s predecessor had.
A number of members have inquired about both quantity and quality of our water sources, as well as the security of our rights to the ground water in those sources.
The engineering study that is in progress (phase 2), as well as the findings of our ongoing hydrology testing, have confirmed that our current aquifer and delivery infrastructure possess sufficient delivery capacity for the projected home buildouts in all 4 of our communities. Both types of studies have also shown that capacity is not sufficient to supply the golf course with it’s historic customary supply as residential use increases. Discussions with golf course ownership and management regarding the development of an additional water source in a different location to support the growing TRR residential base have gained momentum, as the real possibility of the golf course having no water other than effluent came close to occurring this July. This year’s well and aquifer tests were completed in August and the report from the Hydrologist should be posted in October.
Questions have also been received regarding the testing for certain chemicals (SAFS) that have forced the closure of several wells in Prescott and Prescott Valley. These substances were recently added to the testing that all regulated utilities must perform monthly. There have been no traces of these substances in our water. These types of substances usually occur if the water source is down-stream from landfill (packaging) or from airport operations (fire retardant). Because our wells are at the very headwaters of the water shed, we have no proximity to either of those.
With regards to water rights and ownership of water rights, some members have asked about whether we are protected from places like Prescott or Phoenix laying claim to our water sources. Our water sources are at the very top of the Verde River watershed, which has been an arena for some legal battles closer to Phoenix. ICWC has retained an expert to advise us on what we could do to avoid any risks in the future.
Civiltec Engineering Project:
The report from the first phase of the Civiltec system evaluation was posted to www.ICWC.info several weeks ago. The recommendations are being prioritized and cost estimated. Several will be acted upon immediately and others will be done as finances permit. These improvements are intended to make our delivery systems more resilient to risks such as power or equipment failure.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact your board via email or in person.
Your ICWC Board of Directors
ABOUT INSCRIPTION CANYON WATER COMPANY
Inscription Canyon Water Company was formed in October of 2020. It came about as a successor to the Inscription Canyon Water Users Association, which was originally formed as a non-profit water company in 1995. This re-incorporation was performed to eliminate a legacy legal linkage between the ICRWUA and an HOA from one of the original developments in our community.
At the time of formation of the original non-profit utility, the company served a territory including the Inscription Canyon Subdivision, under authority of and regulation by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
The water company is owned by members within the subdivisions it serves. It presently is governed by a five-member board of directors elected by the members. The board members are volunteers, elected for a two-year term. Day to day management, (including billing and accounting) and water systems operations are provided under contract agreements. The Association has no employees. Read more >>
Board of Directors
President: Mark Armstrong
Vice President of Operations: Mike Hubbard
Director: Dan Cancelleri
Secretary: Randy Joly
Treasurer: Giles Howard
We welcome your email comments.
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