Wheeling involves using the CAP system to transport and deliver Non-Project Water. Project Water is defined as Colorado River water available to CAP, along with certain Agua Fria inflows captured in Lake Pleasant. Therefore, Non-Project Water includes any other water, and can include additional Colorado River water or imported groundwater. Wheeling is authorized in the 1988 Master Repayment Contract (MRC) between CAP and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (May 2013 Board Brief). The MRC includes specific provisions related to wheeling non-Project water, including the joint development of a standard form of wheeling contract. 

Background on System Use Agreement and Wheeling

In early 2017, the CAP System Use Agreement (SUA) was approved by the Bureau and CAP. The Agreement resolves long standing legal, financial and operational issues related to wheeling. It allows CAP to wheel non-project water supplies through the CAP system pursuant to standard form wheeling agreements and expanded system capacity. CAP will be able to offer contracts, with the approval of Reclamation, for the long-term reliable delivery of Non-Project Water, while protecting the rights of the United States to have water transported under section 8.17 of the MRC, and without interfering with Project Water deliveries. 

  1. Exhibit B (“Standard Form of CAWCD Wheeling Contract”) - Page 23
  2. Exhibit C (“Terms and Conditions for Reclamation Wheeling Contracts”) - Page 39

CAP Staff Proposal (2014)

The CAP Staff Proposal was developed after an extensive stakeholder process (see below) and consists of several draft agreements and supporting documents. Much of this material laid the foundation for the wheeling component of the CAP SUA Agreement:


Stakeholder Process

CAP initiated a stakeholder process in 2014 to refine and improve the Staff Proposal. 

  1. March 12, 2014: “Serve As You Come”
  2. April 22, 2014: “Operations”
  3. May 27, 2014: “Cost & Capacity”
  4. June 17, 2014: “Remainders & Closure”
  5. Comments & Staff Responses
Other Materials

In January 2018, ADWR, along with AWBA and CAP, convened the Recovery Advisory Planning Group RPAG to include stakeholder perspectives as recovery planning and implementation concepts are  updated and refined. It was acknowledged that the input from RPAG is critical for the success of the recovery program. The RPAG is a 14-member advisory group comprised of representatives from agricultural, municipal, tribal, utility and on-river entities.

Current Wheeling Projects
  • Harquahala INA; Scottsdale golf courses


For additional information, please contact Ken Seasholes, Manager, Resource Planning & Analysis