Central Arizona Water Conservation District agrees to $97.5 million deal with the Gila River Indian Community to bolster supplies

Gila River watershed. Graphic credit: Wikimedia

From KJZZ (Brett Jaspers):

The agency that runs the Central Arizona Project on Thursday approved a deal to acquire water from the Gila River Indian Community, or GRIC.

The Central Arizona Water Conservation District, in addition to operating the CAP canal, is also in charge of finding water to put back into the ground on behalf of some housing developments, typically those on the outskirts of metro areas. That particular arm of the organization is called the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District, or CAGRD.

In the new deal, the replenishment agency will get access to hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water from the GRIC over 25 years. (One acre foot covers one acre with one foot of water.) The agreement has an initial cost of $97.5 million.

CAWCD board member Jim Holway voted for the deal, but said they still need to look for more sources of water to meet groundwater replenishment obligations…

The GRIC Council will take up the agreement next week. If it approves, the federal government will need to sign off as well.

In the short term, this deal may make approval of a separate drought deal easier, as developers were facing a cutback under the proposed Drought Contingency Plan. That was an important reason the deal received the endorsement of both the Environmental Defense Fund and the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.

Leave a Reply