PHOENIX (AP) - Environmentalists and federal authorities are worried that a plan to pump groundwater from the San Pedro River basin in southern Arizona to fuel growth in nearby Sierra Vista will drain perhaps the most important pit stop for yellow-billed cuckoos between the Rio Grande and the Colorado River.
The Arizona Department of Water Resources this spring ruled that developer Castle & Cooke has a sufficient 100-year groundwater supply to build a roughly 7,000-unit residential and commercial project.
It would consume about 4,900 acre-feet a year, increasing the basin's pumping by about 30 percent.
An acre-foot is about what two households use in a year.
The Arizona Republic
reports that opponents say this level of pumping will deplete the aquifer and dry stretches of the river during summer.
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