Big Chino Water Ranch Project



  • Water Resource Project Manager
  • 433 N Virginia St

  • 928-777-1144

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, some surrounding unincorporated areas of Yavapai County, and in the future a portion of Prescott Valley. 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 five (5) active wells in Chino Valley. The water is pumped into two (2) five (5) million gallon reservoirs at the Chino Water Production Facility, and from there pumps convey into Prescott via high-pressure water mains.  Three (3) 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 (BCWR) was acquired in 2004, and the supplies were subsequently added to the City’s Decision and Order of Assured Water Supply document in late 2009.  It is a future water supply for the city.

  • 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