The 16-foot display is constructed of 120 one-gallon water jugs, the amount of water a typical Valley resident uses each day. This provided a great opportunity for our Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) staff to share information about water conservation, water acquisition and CAGRD’s importance to the region.
What does CAGRD mean to West Valley residents? For starters, enrollment in CAGRD has provided West Valley developers the ability to meet the state's strict and responsible groundwater management laws. In fact, many homes built since 2001 in the communities of Avondale, El Mirage, Goodyear, Buckeye and Surprise are reliant on CAGRD's replenishment services as well as effective water management by West Valley cities.
Under Arizona law, new developments must demonstrate a 100-year Assured Water Supply. To assist, the Arizona state legislature created CAGRD in 1993. If a development doesn’t have sufficient renewable surface water supplies, but has groundwater supplies sufficient to meet its needs, it can still comply by joining CAGRD. Four West Valley cities with a combined population of more than 325,000 are members of CAGRD. In addition, more than 550 new subdivisions, representing more than 130,000 homes, are members of CAGRD.
CAGRD provides a replenishment service, replacing any groundwater used by its members that exceed the groundwater use limitations imposed by the state. That, along with smart water planning, has gone a long way toward supporting the West Valley’s growth. When CAP allocations were decided in 1983, the West Valley was very small compared to the rest of the Valley. In fact, only 20 percent of renewable surface water supplies in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area are held by West Valley cities.
So, where does CAGRD get the water it needs to meet its replenishment obligation? In the early years of CAGRD, the supply was primarily excess CAP water; however, in 2012, CAGRD began a robust water supply acquisition program to develop additional supplies to meet its members’ needs. Most recently, Central Arizona Project celebrated a partnership with Liberty Utilities for the state's first public-private reclaimed-water recharge facility, the Liberty Aquifer Replenishment Facility in Goodyear. This provided significant benefit to both organizations; CAGRD gets an affordable 100-year water supply and Liberty Utilities gets a cost-effective way to manage their effluent in a sustainable manner that provides multiple benefits to their customers.
CAGRD will continue to secure additional water supplies for its current and projected member’s demands. CAGRD is a unique program that supports both the economy and the future water sustainability of the state consistent with the vision of Arizona’s leaders.
Haven’t yet seen the water tower? It will be on display near the Arrowhead Mall food court through Monday, Oct. 23.