CWAG, Citizens Water Advocacy Group is one of my favorite non profits because of the technical and scientific back ground of many members and a diversity of other interested and active community members. We have so much expertise and it is all volunteer! Our secretary and calendar update folks are organized and efficient and keep all the members informed. Our president serves with expertise and a sense of humor that helps us over the rough spots occuring occasionally with politicans. CWAG has made a difference in our community by informing people of scientific studies and giving educational talks to multiple and varied groups. Again, this is all accomplished by volunteers.
Several years ago I was worn out fighting various battles, generally as a result of being active in several non-profit organizations. At that time I, largely, withdrew from many of my prior activities. However, about two years ago I heard about the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) here in Prescott, and the good things it was doing. After hearing more about the organization I decided to attend a meeting of the group. Learning more about CWAG’s objectives, and meeting some of its many highly qualified and capable people, I decided that what CWAG represents was very important to the community—and worthwhile of my becoming an active member. Since that time I have been welcomed as an active member of the group in several ways (in addition to just attending meetings). First, I was one of three members who analyzed a report prepared by Elliott D. Pollack & Co. titled “Big Chino Water Ranch Project Impact Analysis: Prescott & Prescott Valley, AZ” . My review found numerous errors in the study; my analysis, along with that of the two others has been posted on the CWAG web site. Next, when learning that the city was seriously considering entering into a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in connection with the possible funding, construction, and/or operation of the Big Chino Pipeline I decided to learn more about the experience of PPPs and privatization of water in the U.S. and in other countries. My research of this area revealed serious issues in the use of PPPs and/or the privatization of water. The paper I prepared has also been posted on the CWAG website. While I am still learning some of the complexities of water issues in Arizona, I have considered my experiences with CWAG to be very valuable, as well as educational, and a good investment of my time. I encourage others to participate in its activities.
No one in CWAG gets a dime for the hours of service they provide. Their motive is to make and keep the Prescott area a great place to live. Without CWAG the public would have only developers watching out for quality of life and sustainable water policy. Developers are the folks who rushed to P&Z to get 32000 lots platted in 1998 when ADWR announced that the Prescott area was mining ground water unsustainably. Was that in the citizens best interest? Follow the money!More citizens should get involved with CWAG and water issues to decide if local government represents what you want for Prescott.
I'm always impressed with the amazing work that can come out of an all-volunteer organization, and this group is no exception. "Staffed" with an incredibly knowledgeable, active and resilient board, this group is equally big on advocacy and education. Monthly meetings bring membership and the general public up to speed on numerous local water issues. You'll also find these folks at many of the local county and municipality meetings and forums intelligently articulating the issues to the public and decision-makers. Without their voice in the Prescott area, citizens would get only one side of the story consistently--that of local governments and developers through their PR hacks.