A pipeline to allow owners of the Rosemont mine to recharge Central Arizona Project water to compensate for its groundwater pumping will start its first leg of construction next month, a private water company building the line said Tuesday.
Community Water Co. of Green Valley announced that it has let a $400,000 contract to build a 1,000-foot section of 36-inch diameter pipe in an area where Nogales Highway is also being realigned in the suburb of Sahuarita. The new section of line will go about halfway down the pipeline route. Slated completion in January 2014, the line will run from the existing CAP terminus at Interstate 19 and Pima Mine Road on the north to a series of new recharge basins on state land near Duval Mine Road and adjacent to the Santa Cruz River, also in Sahuarita.
Thel line’s purpose is to take Central Arizona Project water to the recharge basins, where it will be allowed to seep into the aquifer to replace water pumped in that area for the mine. Rosemont Copper will be the line’s first user, but it is being designed large enough to accommodate other water users in the future to recharge more CAP water and help combat what most authorities agree is a major groundwater pumping overdraft in the Green Valley area.
The next section of pipeline is slated to start construction in October at the area of the CAP terminus at Pima Mine Road, said a spokeswoman for Community Water Co. Rosemont’s Vancouver, B.C.-based parent company, Augusta Resource Corp., has committed to pay for the pipeline project.
Read the rest of this story in Thursday's Star.