CAP Excess Water Contracting Process

Excess water is a specifically defined category of Project Water that can only be made available for delivery one year at a time.  It is also the most junior priority within the CAP water priority hierarchy and, as such, it will be the first supply to be reduced if a shortage is declared.  Having a CAP Excess Water contract and an approved delivery schedule does not constitute an assured water supply.  It is important to note that the CAP excess water supply has declined significantly in recent years, and the availability of CAP excess water should not be relied upon when planning to meet future demands.

The CAP Excess Water Contract is a two party contract between CAWCD and the water user.  The term of the contract is for one calendar year and automatically renews, but may be cancelled by either party.  The contract provides that the Central Arizona Water Conservation District will determine the availability of excess water and the water rate for excess water annually.

Access to Excess

All agricultural and municipal and industrial water users within CAP’s three-county service area (Maricopa, Pima, Pinal) are generally eligible to enter into a CAP Excess Water Contract.  However, the demand for this supply has been increasing at the same time that its overall availability has decreased.  Staff worked with stakeholders to develop guidelines for the distribution of excess water, known as "Access to Excess," in order to provide greater predictability for both CAP and its customers.  As a result of this process, the CAWCD Board adopted a policy to distribute excess water from 2010 through 2014.  The CAWCD Board subsequently approved an exception to the CAP procedure for distributing excess water to fill Small Users' water orders during 2013 and 2014.  Small Users are defined as those excess customers who use less than 1,000 acre-feet (af) of water per year.  The Small User exception is in effect through the end of 2014. 

On March 6, 2014, the CAWCD Board adopted a new "Access to Excess" policy to distribute excess water from 2015 through 2019, which may be viewed here.

Additional historical information on the "Access to Excess" policy process can be found here


General inquiries should be made to:

Melinda Whittington
Water Control Department, Central Arizona Project
Phone: (623) 869-2573
Email Address:  mwhittington@cap-az.com


Submit written requests for a CAP Excess Water Contract to:

Cheryl Visconti
Legal Department, Central Arizona Project
P.O. Box 43020
Phoenix, AZ 85080-3020
Phone: (623) 869-2366    
Fax: (623) 869-2412
Email Address:  cvisconti@cap-az.com


Please include the following information in your written request:

  • Company name
  • Type of Business Entity (corporation, partnership, etc.)
  • How much water is being requested (acre-feet)
  • How will the water be used?
  • Are you currently within the service area of another water provider? (City or municipality, private water company, irrigation district, etc.)
  • If so, provide the name of the water service area provider
  • What are your proposed physical means of withdrawing water from the CAP system? (Canal side pump, turn out, etc.)
  • Where is your proposed withdrawal site? (Mile marker or closest cross streets.)
  • When do you need to begin withdrawing CAP water?
  • Who should CAP contact with regard to your request?