/ Modified apr 26, 2014 9:10 a.m.

County Officials Seek Bond to Revitalize Agua Caliente Park

Water levels at record lows due to prolonged drought; if it gets green light, voters will see proposal on 2015 ballot.

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Pima County may ask voters to approve a $1 million bond to revitalize the Agua Caliente Park, where water is at record low levels.

drypark focus large 2 A natural spring used to flow through the path to supply the ponds. (PHOTO: Yoohyun Jung)

The once lush pond, a bathing spot for many varieties of birds, is now 60 percent dry.

Jim Knoll, with the Friends of Agua Caliente Park, said prolonged drought has had disastrous effects on the spring that supplied water to the pond.

“Last year it stopped flowing all together," he said. "The county has been pumping water from a nearby well to augment the main pond, but it’s been insufficient to keep the pond level full."

Pima County currently pumps 40,000 gallons of water per day into the park.

The bond would pay for a number of works, including reducing the size of the main pond from 3.5 acres to 2 acres, dredging and cleaning, installing a liner and re contouring the pond to accommodate birds that depend on different depths of water.

Knoll stressed that the park is an important refuge for birds, as well as for humans.

“It’s one of the few...contemplative parks in Tucson," he said. "It has no ball fields, its just strictly for families to reconnect and do picnics and enjoy the afternoon in a quiet atmosphere.”

The Pima County Bond Advisory Committee will consider the measure on Friday. Knoll said if it gets the green light, voters will see the proposal on their ballots in 2015.

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