Plan of Operation and Mid-Plan Reviews

Every 10 years CAGRD is required to submit a Plan of Operation for approval by the Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Plans were submitted and approved in 1994, 2004 and 2014. Work on the 2025 Plan of Operation is currently ongoing, with an estimated submittal to the Arizona Department of Water Resources in the second half of 2024.

According to ARS §45-576.02.C.2, each Plan of Operation is required to have the following elements for each active management area (AMA) where a member land or member service area is located:

(a) The conservation district’s groundwater replenishment obligations and the extent to which those obligations have been met in the ten years preceding submittal of the plan.

(b) An estimate of the conservation district’s current and projected groundwater replenishment obligations, as that term is defined and used in title 48, chapter 22, for current members for the twenty calendar years following the submission of the plan and an estimate of the district’s projected groundwater replenishment obligations for the one hundred calendar years following the submission of the plan for current members and potential members based on reasonable projections of real property and service areas that could qualify for membership in the ten years following the submission of the plan.

(c) A description of the water resources that the conservation district plans to use for replenishment purposes during the twenty calendar years following submission of the plan and water resources potentially available to the conservation district for groundwater replenishment purposes during the subsequent eighty calendar years.

(d) A description of the district’s current replenishment reserve activities in each active management area for the ten years preceding the current plan and planned replenishment reserve activities for the ensuing ten years to be undertaken pursuant to section 48-3772, subsection E.

(e) A description of any facilities and projects to be used for replenishment and the replenishment capacity available to the conservation district during the twenty calendar years following submission of the plan.

(f) An analysis of potential storage facilities that may be used by the conservation district for replenishment purposes.

(g) A description of the conservation district’s capability to meet the current and projected groundwater replenishment obligations for the twenty calendar years following the calendar year in which the conservation district submits the plan.

(h) Any other information that the director may require.

CAGRD also provides a progress report to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board of Directors and stakeholders in the form of a Mid-Plan Review. This review includes updates on replenishment, enrollment and water supplies along with additional information on recent CAGRD actions.

2015 Plan of Operation

The CAGRD 2015 Plan of Operation describes activities proposed in the Phoenix, Pinal and Tucson AMAs over the next 100 years based on continued membership enrollment through 2024.

Highlights include:

  • CAGRD has met, and is continuing to meet, its replenishment obligation within a statutorily prescribed three-year window.
  • The long-term projection of replenishment obligation is significantly lower than projected in the 2005 Plan of Operation. Based on model results, CAGRD estimates 119,000 new Member Land housing units are likely to enroll through 2024. Total annual replenishment obligation for current members and those that are projected to enroll through 2024 is estimated to reach approximately 86,900 acre-feet by 2034; 62,700 acre-feet of this total volume is for current members. In 2114, the projected annual replenishment obligation for current and projected members is 113,000 acre-feet.
  • CAGRD has identified an annual total of more than 980,000 acre-feet of supplies that are available and could be used to meet replenishment obligations over the next 100 years. These available supplies are an order of magnitude greater than the amount of additional supplies that CAGRD will seek to acquire over the time period covered under the 2015 Plan.
  • The CAWCD – which oversees CAGRD – has adopted policies for establishing its fees and rates on an annual basis, thus providing CAGRD with flexibility as economic and operational conditions change. Financial flexibility has recently been further enhanced to include annual membership dues and bonding authority. Therefore, all mechanisms are in place to ensure CAGRD has sufficient financial capacity to meet its obligation.
  • On Aug.. 5, 2015, ADWR determined the 2015 Plan of Operation was consistent with achieving the management goal of the Phoenix, Pinal and Tucson AMAs.

2019 Mid-Plan Review

Through a series of reports and briefings to the CAGRD and Underground Storage Committee, CAGRD staff members reviewed the trends and operational activities that occurred since the approval of the 2015 Plan of Operation. The 2019 Mid-Plan Review document included the key findings shared with the Committee and provided a current status of CAGRD operations. The Mid-Plan Review is not required by law, but rather is a commitment by the CAWCD Board to enhanced reporting and transparency in CAGRD’s operations.

Highlights from the 2019 Mid-Plan Review included:

  • CAGRD continues to fulfill its statutory duties and complies with Arizona laws.
  • Enrollment has trended lower than projections in the 2015 Plan of Operation.
  • Obligations have remained relatively steady (approximately 30,000 acre-feet per year).
  • The water portfolio is well positioned and reduces reliance on excess CAP water.
  • The plan mitigates potential risks to NIA supplies from future shortages by accrual of long-term storage credits.
  • The Replenishment Reserve accrual is on track.
  • Storage capacity remains sufficient to meet needs.
  • Based on assets and projected revenues, CAGRD is prepared to meet its statutory obligations.

Previous Plans of Operation

CAGRD is required by law to submit a plan of operation to the Director of ADWR every ten years, as above. The following links provided archived versions of previous Plans as well as a Mid-Plan Review conducted in 2011.