CAWCD authorizes Intrastate Agreement for CAWCD-SRP Exchange

The Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors (CAWCD) convened for a special board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21. The sole agenda item was Discussion and Possible Consideration of Action Regarding Draft Agreements Relating to Drought Contingency Planning (DCP) Issues, Including ICS and Exchange. This is the fourth special meeting the CAWCD has held regarding DCP issues.

The board heard a presentation by CAP’s General Counsel Jay Johnson regarding the CAWCD-SRP Exchange agreement. The draft letter agreement is appended to today’s board agenda. Another agreement, also appended to the agenda, will be considered by the CAWCD board at a later time.

The agreement for consideration by the CAWCD board was the SRP-CAWCD DCP Exchange Agreement. This exchange provides a component of the offset program of the Arizona DCP Implementation Plan. Under this agreement:

  • SRP will deliver a total of up to 50,000 acre-feet of water to common SRP/CAWCD customers in 2021-2025
  • CAWCD will retain 50,000 acre-feet of CAP ICS in Lake Mead until 2027 and will then use that ICS as a source to repay SRP

The board approved the agreement unanimously.

“With this agreement approved, the CAWCD Board has now authorized more than half of the agreements to which CAWCD is a principal party,” says Ted Cooke, CAP general manager. “While the Arizona Legislature approved everything needed for Arizona to sign onto the interstate Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan on Jan. 31, we are still working through the intrastate agreements needed to execute the Arizona Implementation Plan. CAP held a special board meeting today to advance this plan. This is complex work, involving a lot of time, attention and detail. We are making good progress toward completing these necessary agreements.”

Today’s actions added to the following recent CAWCD board authorizations regarding the Drought Contingency Plan:

  • 1/31/19 – Authorized CAWCD President to execute the Agreement Regarding Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan Obligations
  • 1/24/19 - Approved the AZDCP Implementation Plan legislative package language and supported the resolution
  • 1/3/19 - Authorized a commitment of up to $5 million in ad valorem taxes for the CAP Ag Pool Groundwater Infrastructure and Efficiency Program, subject to participation by other non-federal cost share partners and the development of a definitive program proposal that incorporates the need for recovery infrastructure
  • 12/6/18 – Approved the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan and directed the CAWCD board president to execute the appropriate agreements and supported key elements of the AZDCP Implementation Plan presented at the Nov. 29 AZDCP Steering Committee meeting
  • 11/15/18 - Expressed support through a resolution that included the following:
  • Utilization of CAP water resources of up to 400,000 acre-feet of CAP ICS in Lake Mead and up to 50,000 acre-feet of CAP Project Water in Lake Pleasant, while maximizing opportunities to maintain CAP ICS Water
  • Creation of a compensated conservation program to obtain necessary quantities of water for mitigation purposes, up to 250,000 acre-feet and a cost of up to $60 million to be included in CAP Fixed OM&R rates
  • Support for development of separate programs for groundwater infrastructure and system efficiencies for CAP Ag Districts in cooperation with the United States, the State of Arizona, the Ag districts, tribes and others.
  • The CAP board delegates and the general manager to bring the interim Mitigation Plan proposal to the AZ LBDCP Steering Committee and to continue to negotiate a mitigation plan within the general parameters of the Interim Plan Proposal.

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 For additional details on the Feb. 21 board meeting, take a look at the agenda.