Collaboration leads to clarity regarding how to recover “banked” water

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CAP Joint Recovery

For 25 years, Arizonans have been storing water underground to protect against future shortages on the Colorado River. Now that the system may be facing shortage in 2022, the capability to recover this supply is more important than ever.

Since 1996, the Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA) has stored more than four million acre-feet of Colorado River water in central and southern Arizona aquifers for recovery in times of shortage.

Similar to your bank account, you want to save as much water as possible and then develop a plan for how and when you will use it. “Recovery of Water Stored by the Arizona Water Banking Authority: A Joint Plan by AWBA, ADWR and CAP” (2021 Update) provides a roadmap for “recovering” (pumping) this stored water. This document represents a collaboration with the Central Arizona Project (CAP), the Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA) and the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) along with the Recovery Planning Advisory Group (RPAG), which was convened by the three agencies in 2018, and other stakeholders who participated in the multi-year process.

The 2021 Joint Update:

  • Gives an updated analysis of projected AWBA firming volumes and estimated recovery capacity needs
  • Builds on previous planning efforts outlined in the 2014 plan
  • Discusses recovery concepts intended to increase flexibility and fully use existing infrastructure
  • Provides an updated operational timeline to further refine the procedural steps for recovery
  • Identifies future activities and commitments by AWBA, ADWR and CAP

You can find the 2021 Joint Update document on the CAP and ADWR websites.