CAP Blog - Water Ways and Power Lines

CAP’s 30 Years of Innovative Water Planning Have Helped Prepare Arizona for Shortage



As the words “drought” and “shortage” are in the media almost daily, the issue is coming to the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind.  While the average citizen may not have been thinking about these important water issues on a daily basis, Central Arizona Project and its partners have been – since CAP began delivering water 30 year ago.  The following are highlights of innovations, partnerships and collaborations which have helped to position Arizona for the future:



Water Banking

• CAP, working in conjunction with the Arizona Water Banking Authority, is storing water underground to pro­tect against the impacts of shortage and has developed a plan for the recovery of that stored water. More than three million acre-feet of Colorado River water has been stored underground.

• CAP’s innovative 100-year public-private water recharge agreement with Liberty Utilities has been nominated for “water deal of the year” in the Global Water Awards sponsored by the Global Water Institute. Liberty Utilities will sell excess effluent, or reclaimed water, to CAP which will then safely recharge the water underground.

Agricultural customers

• CAP agricultural customers have invested $3,600 per acre in water efficiencies including laser leveling fields, drip irrigation and other mechanisms to reduce water consumption and use CAP water as efficiently as pos­sible.

• CAP instituted a water-rate incentive program to reward agricultural customers who have instituted best management practices and improved water use efficiency.

Lake-Mead-007Reservoir Levels/Shortage

• CAP is investing more than $25 million in water efficiency projects like Brock Reservoir, seasonal storage that reduces excess deliveries of Colorado River water. This reservoir conserves approximately 100,000 acre-feet/year.

• CAP is encouraging the U.S. to operate the Yuma Desalt­ing Plant (YDP) or to prepare a suitable alternative. CAP has funded the YDP pilot and through its joint efforts with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and is working to develop alternatives to conserve 100,000 acre-feet/year.

• CAP is funding pilot snow augmentation (cloud seeding) projects to increase runoff and stream flows in the Colo­rado River basin. A new study finds the results of those programs very encouraging.

• CAP along with ADWR, the federal government, the Colorado River Commission of Nevada, the Colorado River Board of California, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Southern Nevada Water Authority are taking coordinat­ed and collective actions to store water in Lake Mead to avoid or delay potential shortages. This approach, totaling 745,000 acre-feet of water, could delay shortages and begin to ad­dress longer-term challenges to Lake Mead.


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CAP Forges Historic Partnership with Liberty Utilities for First Public-Private Reclaimed Water Recharge Facility



The Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) – Central Arizona Project’s groundwater replenishment authority – has forged a historic partnership with Liberty Utilities to develop the first-ever public-private reclaimed water recharge facility. This new facility, the Effluent Recharge Project, is expected to recharge at least 78 billion gallons of water into the Phoenix area’s West Valley Aquifer and will allow for the reuse of 2,400 to 5,000 acre-feet per year of A+ treated municipal effluent through groundwater recharge.


CAP Employee Focus: Mike Borquez/Aqueduct Maintenance South Central Supervisor

This is the fourth in a series of CAP employee profiles featuring those who help manage and deliver reliable and cost-effective water deliveries.



In a nutshell, what do you do for CAP?
I'm the supervisor for Aqueduct Maintenance South Central Org. 634. I supervise a crew of six. Our area of responsibility is from Check 25 Salt River Siphon to the Picacho Pumping Plant, which is primarily on Pinal County through agricultural lands. We maintain the aqueduct that is essentially a man-made river that moves water long distances by the force of gravity. 


CAP partners with Arizona Science Center to promote water conservation and education


Nearly 600 Maricopa County school children collaborated this past year to create their own water filter to clean the “polluted” water made in a model city. They were participating in an Arizona Science Center project called Planet Water, thanks in part to a grant from Central Arizona Project. Through a series of hands-on science experiments students learned about the quantity and quality of water on the planet while discovering the answers to questions such as, “Where does the water at my house come from?” and “How much water is there on the planet?”


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