Liberty Utilities and Central Arizona Project (CAP) have built the state's first public-private reclaimed-water recharge facility, the Liberty Aquifer Replenishment Facility (LARF) in Goodyear, which commenced operation in early 2017. The ground-breaking partnership is a win-win; CAP gets an affordable 100-year water supply for the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) and Liberty Utilities gets a cost-effective way to manage their effluent in a sustainable manner that provides multiple benefits to their customers.
The CAGRD is the groundwater replenishment authority of CAP and state law requires that it replenish excess groundwater withdrawn by its members in Active Management Areas (AMAs) with renewable water supplies. The LARF is designed to recharge up to 6,000 acre-feet (AF) per year, and 2,400 AF annually will be leased to CAGRD through the year 2116 to help meet that obligation. The remaining water stored at LARF will belong to Liberty.
Reclaimed water is the most reliable, locally generated supply for aquifer replenishment. The water being recharged at the LARF is from the Liberty Utilities’ Palm Valley Water Reclamation Facility which produces 3.5 million gallons of high-quality reclaimed water each day. Some of that water is then sold for irrigation use in parks and golf courses; the surplus water will be delivered to the recharge facility via dedicated pipes that are not attached to any potable water lines.
CAP Board President Lisa Atkins recognizes the importance of this partnership, saying “The partnership allows public and private industry to work together for the good of Arizona. Providing long-term water sustainability to the region, the project replenishes water within area of impact, maintains water levels, reduces pumping costs and is just good fiscal management.”