Recognizes CRIT System Conservation Agreement as last required CAWCD party agreement required for Arizona’s Drought Contingency Implementation Plan

The Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors (CAWCD) convened today for its August meeting.

Related to the Drought Contingency Plan, the board began the meeting with a commemoration of the System Conservation Agreement amongst the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and CAWCD. The agreement, which was approved at the June CAWCD board meeting, was the last required CAWCD party agreement required for Arizona’s Drought Contingency Implementation Plan. The agreement allows CRIT to create 150,000 acre-feet of system conservation in Lake Mead from 2020-2022 to offset deliveries of Central Arizona Project (CAP) intentionally created surplus (ICS) under the NIA Mitigation Agreement and the Ag Mitigation Agreement.

“It was our pleasure to have CRIT Chairman Patch, as well as representatives from ADWR, BOR and the Environmental Defense Fund here with us today to commemorate this agreement, which was signed in July,” said Lisa Atkins, CAWCD board president. “I want to once again express appreciation to all of the parties who worked together to make the agreement possible.”

During the Committee Reports section of the meeting, the CAWCD Public Policy Committee recommended a Position of Support on S. 1932 – Drought Resiliency and Water Supply Infrastructure Act. The board passed the motion unanimously.

“Over the past two years, the Board and Public Policy Committee have discussed looking for infrastructure funding opportunities, as outlined in our federal agenda,” said Karen Cesare, chair, CAWCD Public Policy Committee. “This bill is narrowly constructed to look at BOR-related water infrastructure. While CAP’s capital plan and budget covers our related capital needs, the bill does provide some opportunities such as groundwater storage and recovery, as well as desalination.”

Other actions taken by the CAWCD board included:

  • Contract not to exceed $6 million plus 10% contingency with Achen-Gardner for Salt River Siphon repairs, which will take place this fall (agenda: pages 17-19)
  • Contract not to exceed $3.8 million plus 15% contingency with ABB for the repair of the Mark Wilmer Unit 6 motor (agenda: Bookmark 8, pages 78-82)

CAP staff members provided updates on:

  • Colorado River conditions (agenda: bookmark 9, pages 83-89);
  • Excess Water (agenda: bookmark 10, pages 90-98);
  • Recovery agreements related to the Ag Pool Groundwater Infrastructure and Efficiency Program (agenda: bookmark 11, pages 99-109); and,
  • Multi-Species Conservation Program (agenda: bookmark 13, pages 10-13).

The 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 CAP.

For additional details on the August board meeting, take a look at the agenda and packet. Board minutes and videos will be posted here.


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.