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MILESTONES IN ARIZONA WATER MANAGEMENT
1963 - Supreme Court Decree ends twelve years of litigation between California and Arizona over Colorado River. Arizona's 2.8 million acre foot allocation is confirmed, clearing the way for construction of the Central Arizona Project (CAP).
1971 - Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) formed to construct and operate the physical distribution system, contract to deliver water to water users and providers, and repay the federal government for the costs of construction. It is run by a 15 member board elected from the three counties served by the project. It has authority to levy a property tax from the three counties served: Pima, Pinal and Maricopa.
1973 - Central Arizona Project (CAP) construction begins. Project completed and water delivered to Tucson in 1992.
1980 - Groundwater Management Act (GMA) passed. The overall purpose of the law is to preserve and extend the life of aquifers in the regions expected to receive CAP. Five Active Management Areas (AMA) were created. The GMA set up rules to regulate all groundwater pumping within AMA's.
GMA establishes Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to enforce the regulations and to carry out planning and research mandates. In addition, ADWR enforces surface water rights and regulates dams (except mining impoundments) throughout the state, and represents the state in discussions with the federal government over the Colorado River allotments. The Governor appoints its Director.
1988 - Assured Water Supply (AWS) rules require all new developments in AMA's to demonstrate a 100 year supply. Rules are administered by ADWR.
1993 - Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) created. It provides a mechanism for landowners and water providers to demonstrate an Assured Water Supply under the AWS rules. CAGRD was created as a division of CAWCD even though the AWS rules are enforced by ADWR because CAWCD can acquire and store water and operate the water projects that enable the GAGRD members to comply.
1996 - Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA) was created to increase utilization of the state's Colorado River allocation and develop long term credits for the state. The AWBA stores, or banks, unused Colorado River water to be used in times of shortage, to firm water supplies for Arizona, and to fulfill the water management objectives of the state. Although a division of ADWR, the AWBA works closely with the CAWCD in developing projects.
1999 – New authorities provided to the CAGRD in 1999 modify the AWS requirement for Member Service Areas to some extent.