Two employees celebrate 35 years of service; board approves last CAWCD-required agreement to implement Arizona’s Drought Contingency Implementation Plan

The Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors (CAWCD) convened today for its June meeting. The first wave of 35th anniversary employees began – those who were among the first employees hired at CAP – with Gary Brinkley (Maintenance Engineer, Electrical) and David Veeder (Supervisor, Salt Gila Pumping Plant) being recognized for their years of service. Five other employees were lauded for 25 and 30 years working for CAP.

Related to the Drought Contingency Plan (agenda: bookmark item #10, pages 211-242), the board approved an agreement for System Conservation Amongst the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), the United States, the Arizona Department of Water Resources and CAWCD. This was the last required CAWCD party agreement required for Arizona’s Drought Contingency Implementation Plan. The agreement indicates a commitment from CRIT that it will fallow sufficient lands within its reservation to produce an annual reduction in CRIT consumptive use.

A Colorado River Conditions update (agenda: bookmark item #9, pages 207-210) reported an excellent May in terms of Colorado River Basin run-off, yet board discussion underscored that half-full reservoirs point to the need for continued conservation and careful water planning.

Out of the CAWCD committee reports, two motions were made and approved:

  • Public Policy Committee – board adopted a position of support for H.R. 2459/S.1277 Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019 and to monitor with amendment the Drought Resiliency and Water Supply Infrastructure Act discussion draft.
  • CAGRD Committee – board authorized and approved CAWCD to enter into an external debt agreement not to exceed $20 million to CAGRD for water acquisition. This will be used for the remaining payment for the GRIC/GRWS long-term storage credit acquisition. This gives CAGRD the opportunity to establish its own financing history; provides a higher near-term reserve balance, in case other acquisition opportunities arise; reinforces the concept that CAGRD is financially independent of CAGRD.

Consent agenda items related to Finance, Audit and Power, and the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) included:

  • Approved the Final CAP 2020-2024 Water Rates – Base Case (based on Tier Zero shortage) and the Final CAP 2020-2024 Water Rates – Alternative 1 Case (based on Tier 1 shortage). The Base Case Rate Schedule will be in effect, unless a Tier 1 Shortage is declared for 2020, in which case the Alternative 1 Case would go into effect
  • Approved the Final CAGRD 2019/20 – 2023/24 Rates Base Case
  • Fixed the CAWCD General Ad Valorem Tax Rate at ten cents per $100 of assessed valuation for the 2019/2020 tax year
  • Fixed the CAWCD Water Storage Tax Rate at four cents per $100 of assessed valuation for the 2019/2020 tax year
  • Adopted a resolution determining that all of the tax levied for Water Storage in tax year 2019/2020 is required for CAP repayment or annual operations, maintenance and replacement costs, including CAWCD costs for Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA) M&I firming (except for $6 million for planned AWBA long-term storage credit purchases)

The Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board of Directors is a popularly elected, 15-member board. Ten members are from Maricopa County, four from Pima County and one from Pinal. Members serve six-year, unpaid terms. The board typically meets publicly the first Thursday of each month to establish policy and set rates and taxes for Central Arizona Project.

For more information on the role of the CAWCD board and its current activities, visit www.cap-az.com/board. For additional details on the June board meeting, take a look at the agenda and packet. Board minutes and videos will be posted here.

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Central Arizona Project (CAP) is Arizona's single largest resource for renewable water supplies. CAP is designed to bring roughly 1.5 million acre-feet of water from the Colorado River to Central and Southern Arizona every year. More than 80% of the state's population, live in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties, where CAP water is delivered. It is a 336-mile long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines. www.centralarizonaproject.com