Firming, wheeling and exchanges have each been the subject of extensive planning, discussion and stakeholder engagement. Recently,  CAP and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, with input from the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Water Banking Authority, have worked intensively to refine and unify these key concepts into a comprehensive framework.  Key elements of this framework have been incorporated into a draft “CAP System Use Agreement.”  

The Agreement authorizes the use of the CAP system to implement the final, critical, pieces of the innovative water banking program the State of Arizona has been engaged in since the mid-1990s. The Agreement provides CAP with the necessary operational flexibility for the cost-effective recovery of stored water, including  over four million acre-feet of CAP water stored by the AWBA in the aquifers of Central and Southern Arizona.

The Agreement also resolves legal, financial and operational issues related to wheeling. The Agreement allows CAP to wheel non-project water supplies through the CAP system pursuant to standard form wheeling agreements and expanded system capacity.   Wheeling by the Bureau of Reclamation is also authorized.  And finally, the Agreement helps maximize the beneficial use of the CAP system by expanding the ability of long-term contract holders to exchange portions of the allocation with another party. 

To ensure efficient operation of the system for both new and existing uses, the Agreement adopts a scheduling priority system that reconciles any conflicts over delivery capacity.

Stakeholder Process

CAP and the Bureau of Reclamation held a joint stakeholder workshop on February 1, 2016 to provide an overview and to initiate feedback on the key elements of the Agreement.   Reclamation is consulting separately with the tribes on the key elements of the framework. The draft Agreement itself is undergoing further refinement and will be made available for review and comment when those refinements are completed.  An additional stakeholder meeting will be convened once the draft is released.

    1. Exhibit A (“Map of CAP Terminus”)
    2. Exhibit B (“Standard Form of CAWCD Wheeling Contract”)
    3. Exhibit C (“Terms and Conditions for Reclamation Wheeling Contracts”)
  • March 24, 2016: Arizona Capitol Times Guest Opinion by Ted Cooke
  • February 1, 2016: Firming, Wheeling and Exchanges
    1. Presentation (PDF)
    2. Video
    3. Handout (PDF)
For additional information, please contact Ken Seasholes, Manager, Resource Planning & Analysis