Marana Water News: 2,336 acre-feet - Marana's New CAP Allocation


How did you celebrate Imagine a Day Without Water last week? Some students from the Marana Youth Enrichment program, offered by Marana Parks and Recreation, created some beautiful artwork. Check them out in the gallery below. The students talked about how hard it would be to go a full day without water. Some mentioned how hard it would be on their families and pets. They also shared how important water is for emergency services. We are elated that these students were able to have fun while learning about the importance of water in all aspects of their lives.

In Arizona, water resources are primarily managed by the Groundwater Management Act passed in 1980. This act establishes the rules for who can access groundwater, how much groundwater can be pumped, and who is going to regulate the use of groundwater. It also created Active Management Areas (AMAs) throughout the state, which are regulated by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). One of the major responsibilities of ADWR is to manage the use of water across the state. Marana Water reports to ADWR how we meet our customer water demand and the mixture of water sources we use. For more information on our reporting requirements, check out our Annual Report story here.

Marana Water customer demand for 2015 was approximately 1,960 acre feet. To meet this demand, we have to combine several types of water resources. The primary source is the 1,528 acre feet of permanent allocation of Central Arizona Project (CAP) water. The rest comes from purchased long-term storage credits from other water providers and groundwater. To ensure that Marana Water can meet demand regardless of CAP credits, long-term storage credit availability, or allowable groundwater availability, we are a member of the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD). Marana Water purchases each of these sources at a set rate for that year. To keep customer rates as low as possible, Marana Water works to gather resources to meet the demand and ADWR requirements in the most cost effective manner.

The permanent CAP allocation is the most cost effective option available to Marana Water, so when the opportunity to get an additional allocation of 808 acre feet from Avra Water Co-op in 2015, we jumped at the chance to expand this portion of our portfolio. Beginning in 2015, with Resolution 2015-107, Town Council directed staff to pursue the transfer and purchase of this additional CAP allocation. Staff worked over a year to develop the agreements, permits, financing, and all other requirements to add this 808 acre feet to meet our demand.

On August 2, 2016, the Town Council approved the two agreements required to begin the transfer of these acre feet. These two agreements, one with Avra Water and one with CAP, then needed to be approved by the CAP Board of Directors. This approval came at the Board meeting held on September 1, 2016 bringing Marana’s new permanent allocation of CAP water to 2,336 and a surplus supply of water.

Through this 808 acre feet purchase, Marana Water is in a solid position for the next decade of Town growth. With the addition of recharge effluent, there is likely to be a water surplus until 2026. This means that there is less chance of having to purchase more expensive water from another water provider or from the CAGRD.

Marana Water works to make responsible and sustainable choices for current and future water customers. The ability to purchase these additional permanent acre feet provides great opportunity for planned growth and water reliability.