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Decide Surprise’s Water Future

Hello neighbors. I’m Nancy Hayden and I am humbled to serve as your District 2 Councilmember. I’m honored to be able to carry on the hard work and dedication of my late husband Jim. While I miss him dearly, it brings me comfort in knowing I can carry on his vision for making Surprise an even more amazing place to live.

Like Jim, I’m available and here for you! And I want to share the important news about our city with you. I begin with sharing news of an upcoming election that will have an impact on our city’s future water supply.

In May, registered voters will have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote on a way to increase our surface river water allocations to meet future needs.

In support of the City Council’s Strategic Plan goal to “Ensure sufficient water resources for current and future needs,” Council, in November, approved a Special Ballot-by-Mail Election on May 15, in which Surprise voters will decide whether or not to authorize the purchase and acquisition of Circle City Water Company.

If approved, the purchase would be funded through the sale of current and future water portfolio assets. A reminder that Sun City Grand’s water provider is EPCOR and the city only manages the sewer portion of our water bill.

Purchase increases our surface water supply

Circle City Water Company is a small water service company in the northern part of Surprise’s planning area and future water service area. Circle City Water serves approximately 170 customers.

In addition to the company’s existing customer base, Circle City also has a Central Arizona Project (CAP) subcontract that would increase the City’s current CAP allocation of Colorado River water (Surface Water) by more than 38 percent.

Current Surface Water Allocation – 10,249 acre feet per year

Circle City Water Surface Water Allocation – 3,932 acre feet per year

That’s a 38% increase!

Current Surprise water demand is approximately 7,700 acre feet per year, which serves about 16,000 customers. Just like Sun City Grand, not all City of Surprise residents are City of Surprise water customers.

Having a surface water supply is important

In order for the city to pump, treat, and deliver water to its customers, it has to demonstrate that it has an equal amount of renewable water in order to offset the water it pumps from the ground. Surface water from rivers, such as the Colorado River, is considered a renewable supply.

Colorado River water is currently the only renewable surface supply available to Surprise. Having a right to more surface water is paramount to meet future demands.

Should voters approve the purchase and acquisition of Circle City Water, we will grow our surface water portfolio, which means we can service more people as the city grows.

Have Questions?

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted on www.surpriseaz.gov.

An Information Pamphlet will also be mailed out in April to all registered households in Surprise.

Election Timeline

  • April 16, 2018 – Voter Registration Deadline
  • April 25, 2018 – Ballots mailed out to all registered households in Surprise. This is a ballot-by-mail election. The City Clerk’s Office will have a ballot drop-off box available beginning on this date.
  • May 5, 2018 – Replacement ballot voting begins
  • May 15, 2018 – Election Day

2018 Special Election information is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection.