At a time when political division seems to seep into every conversation, the City of Phoenix is working across party and agency lines to get things done. Water security is extremely important for a desert city like Phoenix, and the city’s success depends on securing proper water infrastructure across the valley.
Over the past months, Phoenix’s Water Department has examined ways to transfer water to North Phoenix from an existing water treatment facility to help lessen dependency on an increasingly uncertain Colorado River water supply. The most direct route brought a new pipeline through Dreamy Draw Park. Neighbors surrounding the park voiced concerns about what this pipeline could mean for the park’s eco-system. The city took these concerns as an opportunity to bring the plans back to the drawing board and re-examine every possible route.
During this process, the city approached ADOT about purchasing land directly parallel to SR-51 that would allow the pipeline to be safely constructed while keeping the park largely undisturbed. Recently, the Council voted unanimously to approve the MOU with ADOT to purchase this land and move the plan forward.
“Water security is a key component of our city’s long-term success. The infrastructure needed to ensure this future must be put in place before the need arises. This pipeline route allows us to take a sustainable approach to investment in our long-term water security,” said Mayor Kate Gallego.
At the State Legislature, Representative Aaron Lieberman, who represents the area around Dreamy Draw, helped propose the new route and facilitated conversations with the Arizona Department of Transportation.
“I grew up on 22nd Street and am so thrilled we were able to come to a solution that will minimize the impact on the preserve and the neighbors. Part of my job as State Representative is to help ensure I am doing all I can to have state agencies engaged and at the table when issues arise in our neighborhoods. This cross-governmental agreement is a great example of multiple branches working together to get things done for the people of Phoenix,” said Representative Lieberman.
Councilwoman Debra Stark, who helped bring this issue to the forefront, echoed the need for more cross-collaboration.
Councilwoman Stark stated, “When I am out in the community talking to neighbors, volunteers and others, they don’t want to hear that bureaucracy is the reason problems can’t get solved. They want innovation and collaboration and I am proud that this agreement represents both of those elements.”