CAGRD Mid-Plan Review Reveals On-Track Operations

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Arizona Aerial Photo

Plans are roadmaps and it’s always a good idea to confirm the route along the way, especially when the journey is long.

In the same way, the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) double-checked its course mid-way through its 10-year 2015 Plan of Operation.

The conclusion? CAGRD is on track – with sufficient capacity to meet its replenishment obligation through 2034, which is the period this plan covers.

CAGRD, a special function of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD), was created in 1993 by the Arizona Legislature. CAGRD members are landowners and water providers in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties that don’t have sufficient access to renewable water supplies. CAGRD serves its members by replenishing the groundwater they pump, providing a way to comply with Arizona’s Assured Water Supply Rules.

CAGRD operates under a plan of operation that must be approved by the State of Arizona. But instead of waiting until 2025, the CAWCD board wanted a check-up in the form of a report, which they called the Mid-Plan Review. At the end of 2019, CAGRD posted a draft of its Mid-Plan Review to provide a current status on CAGRD operations and to invite public comment. This drew a couple of comments, primarily asking for clarification on specific areas in the Mid-Plan. These clarifications were worked into the final version of the plan, which is now available online.

Highlights from the mid-plan review include:

  • CAGRD continues to fulfill its statutory duties
  • Enrollment has trended lower than projections
  • Replenishment obligations have remained relatively steady
  • CAGRD’s current water portfolio is well positioned, with a reduced reliance on excess CAP water
  • Plans are in place to mitigate potential risks to NIA supplies from future shortages by the accrual of long-term storage credits
  • CAGRD’s Replenishment Reserve is on track
  • Storage capacity remains sufficient to meet needs

And, most importantly, based on current assets and projected revenues, CAGRD is prepared to meet its statutory obligations into the future.