Regional Planning Efforts

CAP’s Resource Planning and Analysis Department combines subject matter expertise with extensive use of technical tools to perform a variety of long-range planning activities within CAP’s three-county service area. These activities include extensive supply and demand modeling for three Bureau of Reclamation-sponsored basin studies, analyzing the impact of shortage on supply reliability, and developing detailed projections of replenishment obligations for the CAGRD.

Arizona Basin Studies

Western water resource managers face increasing uncertainty due to climate change, population growth, aging infrastructure and increasing environmental demands. In response to the 2009 SECURE Water Act, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation established the WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) program as a framework for wisely managing the nation’s water supplies and evaluating future scarcity.

WaterSMART provides an opportunity to collaborate with the federal government on long-range, regional-scale planning efforts, commonly referred to as Basin Studies.

To date, three studies have been awarded within Arizona:

While each study seeks to identify supply-and-demand imbalances and strategies to adapt to a changing water future, they address fundamentally different issues that are unique based on geography.

As part of these studies, CAP has developed the CAP Service Area Model (CAP:SAM), a complex computer model that can evaluate conditions such as the rate and pattern of population growth, shortage impacts, effluent reuse and trends in agricultural use. CAP runs scenarios through the CAP:SAM model to generate projections of future supply and demand and the subsequent impacts to the aquifer system.

Arizona's Three Watersmart Basin Studies

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