The City of Prescott and Town of Prescott Valley plan to drill wells, construct a pipeline and pump about 8,000 acre-feet of groundwater from the Big Chino Sub-basin aquifer northwest of Paulden. The aquifer holds a total of about 6.8 million acre-feet of water. The two towns with population that totals around 70,000 people are entitled to pump the water which is only 0.118 % of the capacity of the aquifer. The Salt River Project, SRP currently is mounting legal challenges to the constitutionality of the law that allows for this important project.
In 1994 Prescott decided to sell its 7,200-acre-foot CAP allocation in exchange for rights to the Big Chino Water Ranch supply. The deal made perfect sense: building a pipeline from the Colorado River was not and still is not feasible or cost-effective for Prescott taxpayers. SRP supported the deal at the time and mounted no challenges to the law for nearly 18 years.
The Center for Biological Diversity, The Sierra Club and other environmental activists and those who would limit the growth of these two towns have joined forces with SRP to use the water issue as a means to exercise more control.
A lot more about this conflict.