Big Chino Water Ranch Project

The City of Prescott water service area is located within the Prescott Active Management Area (PrAMA)and also extends into the Town of Chino Valley, the Reservation of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, and some surrounding unincorporated areas of Yavapai County. The City of Prescott is the only designated water provider in the PrAMA with a 100-year Assured Water Supply.


The City’s current water system is complex with six (6) wells in Chino Valley. The water is pumped into a five (5) million gallon reservoir at the Chino Production Facility, and from there pumps convey it to Prescott via high-pressure water mains. Thirty (30) water storage tanks/reservoirs and thirty-eight (38) booster stations are maintained to provide water throughout more than sixty-six (66) pressure zones that serve the City. The thirty (30) storage tanks contain up to thirty-four (34) million gallons of storage. Two (2) additional wells have been drilled near the City Airport to meet existing and future demands in the area. The City’s water quality is excellent, requires very little treatment, and is monitored daily to ensure the highest quality.


In January 1999, the Arizona Department of Water Resources declared that the PrAMA was no longer in safe-yield. This triggered full implementation of the Assured Water Supply Rules, requiring that only renewable or imported water supplies from outside of the PrAMA be utilized for new subdivisions within the PrAMA.


Basics of the Big Chino Water Ranch

  • The Big Chino Water Ranch is comprised of 4,582.1 acres (7.2 sq. mi.) of deeded lands and 1,948.6 acres (3.0 sq. mi.) of Arizona State Land within Yavapai County. The ranch is within the Big Chino Sub-basin of the Verde River Watershed; the sub-basin is defined by the State of Arizona to comprise 1,850 square miles of private, state and federal ownership.
    Major Land Features and the Big Chino Water Ranch Map
  • The City of Prescott is a 54.1% partner and the Town of Prescott Valley a 45.9% partner in water from the BCWR.
    Contract No. 2004-255
  • Section 45-555, Arizona Revised Statutes, allows for the transportation of groundwater by Prescott AMA (PrAMA) municipalities from the Big Chino Sub-basin for use inside the PrAMA.
    A.R.S. §45-555



  • Water Resource Management
  • Leslie Graser
  • Water Resource Project Manager
  • Public Works Building

    433 N Virginia St

  • 928-777-1144


  • In 2004, Prescott and Prescott Valley teamed up to purchase the Big Chino Water Ranch about 18 miles northwest of Paulden. Prescott and Prescott Valley entered into an intergovernmental agreement to work cooperatively to develop a water transmission project known as the Big Chino Water Ranch Project to transport the water from the Ranch to Prescott’s storage facilities in Chino Valley. From there, each community would arrange to bring the water further into its separate water system.

  • At this time the date is undetermined.  This is a supply to meet on-going and future needs of the City’s customers.

  • The City had invested in Colorado River supplies; however, after many years of efforts, and negotiations use of the physical supply was not viable.  Due to this situation, more negotiations and then legislative actions allowed for the City to use physical water supplies in closer proximity to the community.  With the funds from the sale of the Colorado River supplies, the City was able to invest in lands (Big Chino Water Ranch) in the adjacent Big Chino Sub-basin for water supplies.


Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic

Posted on January 11, 2022

Tuesday, January 25 1 pm – 3 pm Founders Suite on the 1st floor at Prescott Public Library Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) will be on site to provide COVID-19 Moderna 1st and 2nd dose vaccines and boosters. Please… Read more »

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