Recharging Water, Wildlife and Community
Water-starved cities like Prescott, Arizona, require something referred to as “recharging” – a process where water is returned into the underlying aquifer to replace water used by the city.
Prescott’s recharging station currently features six ponds spread out over 115 acres. The area has no natural landscaping, no educational signage, no trails, no facilities…just six bare, rectangular pools filled with water. Additionally, since city water managers are focused narrowly on their water recharging requirements, and not the greater ecosystem as a whole, some ponds are allowed to go dry just as shorebirds that depend on shallow waters are migrating through the area. Similarly, the ponds can suddenly flood, covering vegetation that dabbling ducks depend on in the winter.
Prescott Audubon Society wanted to create a recharging station that would be better for wildlife and residents alike, and one that their project team leader had already helped implement in the city of Logan, Utah. The organization helped develop the preliminary landscape mapping to reinvision Prescott’s recharging station not as a series of barren ponds, but as a habitat oasis rich with wildlife and enjoyed by residents. The station will hopfully become a lush natural park, and Prescott will reap the benefits of a higher quality of life, recreation, tourism, and public education about water and land management.