Member Land FAQ

Regarding Member Lands (MLS)

What is the CAGRD?

Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) was established in 1993 by the state legislature to serve as a groundwater replenishment entity for its members. It provides a method for property owners and water providers to demonstrate a 100-year assured water supply under Arizona law by agreeing to have the CAGRD recharge amounts of groundwater that are over the limits established by the assured water supply rules. The CAGRD is operated by the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD), which also oversees the Central Arizona Project (CAP). It is governed by the 15-member CAWCD Board of Directors but is a separate legal and financial entity from the CAWCD. The CAGRD includes three Active Management Areas (AMA) within Phoenix, Tucson and Pinal County.

I have a Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) assessment on my property tax bill. What is this?

Under current State of Arizona law, your house could not have been built without enrollment as a Member Land of the CAGRD. Residential subdivisions developed after February 1995 can no longer rely solely on groundwater as their exclusive water supply. The developer of your subdivision enrolled your home in the CAGRD so that the CAGRD would replenish or replace the groundwater pumped to serve your home. In other words, the water you use must be replaced through artificial recharge.

Do I have to pay the CAGRD tax?

Yes. You must pay the cost of replacing the groundwater you use. This cost is included as a line item on your property tax bill and must be paid to the county along with your property tax payment. The county then transfers that money to CAGRD, who in turn purchases water that will be used to replenish the aquifer.

How does the CAGRD determine what I have to pay?

Each year, the CAWCD Board of Directors approves a replenishment rate for the CAGRD. This rate is then applied to the amount of excess groundwater reported to the CAGRD by your water provider to determine the replenishment assessment shown on your property tax statement. CAGRD replenishment rates are based on projections of water demand, Central Arizona Project delivery costs and administrative costs.

Why is the CAGRD assessment on my home different from my neighbor's?

If you used more groundwater at your home than your neighbor, then the replenishment assessment on your property tax bill will be higher than your neighbor's.

How can I reduce the assessment I have to pay to the CAGRD?

The CAGRD replenishment assessment that you must pay is directly related to the amount of water you use at your home. Therefore, reducing your water consumption will reduce your replenishment assessment as well as your water bill. For more information on how to conserve, click Conservation. For more information regarding the CAGRD assessment, contact Monika Tkaczyk at or 623-869-2279.

I have a CAGRD replenishment assessment on my property tax bill, but my sister does not. Why?

There are several possible explanations. First, new water laws became effective in Arizona in 1995. If your sister's house was built prior to 1995, there would be no replenishment obligation for water delivered to her home. Second, if her home was built after 1995, she may be located within the service area of a water provider that has enrolled as a Member Service Area of the CAGRD. If this is the case, then her replenishment assessments are collected by her water provider along with her monthly water bills. Third, her water provider may not be delivering groundwater to her home. If this is the case, then there is no replenishment obligation and, consequently, no assessment. Finally, her water provider may have the capability to perform replenishment services itself. If this is the case, then there would be no CAGRD replenishment assessment, but it is likely that the water provider's costs of doing its own replenishment are included in its monthly water rates.

How can I get my home out of the CAGRD?

Under current law, there is no way for you to get your home out of the CAGRD. The reason for this is to ensure that there will be sufficient water supplies to meet all future demands in the Active Management Areas in Arizona. However, if your water provider converts entirely from groundwater to renewable water supplies (that is, reduces groundwater deliveries to your home to zero), then you would only be responsible for paying the Annual Membership Dues.

Is my water bill affected by membership in the CAGRD?

No. The costs of replenishing groundwater delivered to your home are paid through the assessments collected by the county along with your property taxes.

How does the CAGRD know how much groundwater I used?

Each year, your municipal water provider is required by law to submit a report to the CAGRD. This report shows how much groundwater the municipal provider delivered to each individual parcel in your subdivision (including your home).