The June 2010 issue of the American Water Works Association Journal features an article by Central Arizona Project (CAP) General Manager David Modeer. Both a professional and a scholarly journal, the publication offers peer-reviewed articles and information about all aspects of the drinking water profession. The Journal reaches a diverse, worldwide readership.
The article, entitled "Confronting the Intersection of Water, Energy, and Air Quality at the Central Arizona Project,"details the impact that potential new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) air quality regulations may have on the primary source of CAP's electric power. The Navajo Generating Station (NGS) located near Page, AZ, supplies 95% of the energy CAP uses to move Colorado River water through the CAP system from Lake Havasu to Tucson.
The USEPA is looking at two very different technologies to control the release of smog-forming Nitrogen Oxide, also known as NOx, before it leaves the plant. The first, new burners which will cost $47 million, were already being installed at NGS in advance of new regulations. USEPA is also considering a $1 billion NOx control system known as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).
These additional costs would impact all of CAP's customers. Should USEPA require SCR technology, power costs to CAP customers could increase by 20%. If, instead, the NGS owners decide the aging plant is not worth updating at that cost, CAP would need to purchase power at market rates, and the cost of CAP water could more than double.
CAP supports water leadership, education, research, planning and innovation to preserve and sustain Arizona's critical water supplies. The Colorado River water provided by CAP is the principal source of renewable water for cities, businesses, agriculture and Native American communities in Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties.