Contra Porterville in California, where poor farmworkers with few options are running out of water, on the fringes of Tucson it’s those who chose to sprawl onto the edge of a relatively affluent community, beyond municipal utilities and dependent on a marginal aquifer, who are now seeing their wells running dry. Tony Davis:
In the Tortolita foothills, Glenn Phillips has plenty of competition for water. About 70 wells, drilled since the early 1980s, are registered with the state water department in a one-mile-wide swatch north of Cougar Canyon Trail, between Como Drive on the east and Seifert Estates Road on the west.
They range from 150 to 1,250 feet deep, with bedrock less than 400 feet.
One of the area’s first wells was dug in 1979 by Charles Hill, now 61, whose home now backs up against Phillips’. A computer scientist who designs and writes applications for computers at the University of Arizona, Hill and his wife moved here from Tucson three months after their marriage because they wanted to live under dark skies and see the stars.