Stetson Valley FAQs

 

TURF REDUCTION - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is Turf Reduction? 
Turf Reduction is exactly what it sounds like - a reduction, or removal, of select portions of turf throughout Stetson Valley HOA and replacing those areas with a granite landscape that matches the rest of the community.

Why would the HOA consider Turf Reduction?
It may sound like a broken record but it’s due to the years of drought and lack of supplied water and rain water for the desert. As with any commodity that has supply-and-demand pricing, a reduced supply means higher costs. It may also mean our allocation of water will be reduced. Please see the below article about the recent warning from the US Bureau of Reclamations in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and the Central Arizona Project (CAP) The article notes the timeframe is not immediate but the Board of Directors is planning and working to get ahead of the inevitable, while there are still options to control water use in the community in a manner that benefits the community.
https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/us-west-prepares-1st-water-shortage-declaration-77139468

When is this going to happen?
Turf reduction has actually been happening in select areas of the community for several years. To date, the HOA has already reduced over 4 acres of turf. Turf reduction, as a project, is best done in the summer while the bermuda is actively growing. However, due to the splash pad improvements recently approved, funds are not available to continue until next year.

Where is the turf going to be reduced?
The Board is looking at all turf areas throughout the HOA to select portions to be reduced. There are currently about a dozen locations being considered (see the map) For the majority of the areas, only slopes or other unused portions of the turf are being considered. The intention is to leave the flatter areas intact for homeowners to enjoy. The flat areas are typically more heavily used and slopes are a challenge for watering, creating runoff and unnecessary waste. At this time, the Board still has the option to be very strategic about where turf is removed and there are currently no plans for wholesale removal of entire large turf areas. 

How are the turf areas to be reduced being selected?
While keeping the impact to homeowners minimal and still reducing water consumption, the Board is following a strategy of leaving the used turf portions intact and focusing on removal of unused, unattractive, and inefficient areas. The intention is to continue being very selective in the locations chosen while ensuring there is a Return On Investment to the HOA via water savings. The good news is that most homeowners are unaware of the turf reductions already completed because they blend so well and still allow enjoyment of the remaining turf.

What is the ‘ADWR water allocation reduction’ taking effect in 2023 all about?
Stetson Valley falls under the purview of the ADWR (Arizona Department of Water Resources) due to how much turf it waters. The HOA must file annual reports of water usage with the Department and they place guides on how much water can be used annually. The ADWR released their 4th Management Plan report for allocated water use throughout Arizona and the allotted water has decreased from 4.9 acre/feet of water per turf acre to 4.75 acre/feet, effective in 2023. Stetson Valley has almost 48 acres of turf and 153+ acres of granite throughout the community. Granite is allotted 1.5 acre/feet per acre and that remains unchanged. Over the years, the Board has kept a tight rein on the landscape vendor to control excess use and Stetson Valley has historically run 4.2 acre/feet or less for turf, going as low as 3.2 acre/feet when winter rye isn’t installed. The ADWR currently allows agriculture 3.75 acre/feet for those industries that grow sod - some industry watchers believe HOAs will also fall under that requirement in the future. However, the newest alert from the Bureau of Reclamation may change all of that. The Board has been, and continues to be, on top of the constantly changing targets with water. 

Can I be a part of the solution? 
Yes, please! There is a Water Committee that was formed to address various ways of saving water and water costs. Please contact the Community Manager for more information. Attending Board meetings, currently conveniently held via Zoom, is also a good source of information and a way to connect with the Board regarding your ideas or interest in joining the Committee.