“Appreciation Week” Recognizes Essential Services of Arizona Water Professionals

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         April 6, 2022

Appreciation Week” Recognizes Essential Services of Arizona Water Professionals

PHOENIX – During the week of April 11-17 Arizona leaders from both within and outside the state’s “water community” will take time during Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week to recognize the thousands of water professionals working to provide residents with clean and sustainable water supplies. Appreciation Week also aims to highlight career opportunities in the water industry and increase awareness of the state’s unique water resources.

The kick-off of the fourth-annual Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week — April 11-17 — is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Monday, April 11 at the State Capitol.

All Arizona water professionals are invited to be recognized at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 11 in the Rose Garden at the state capitol to participate in the photo opportunity and receive a free lapel pin.

As in previous years, Sen. Rosanna Gabaldon (D-Sahuarita) will read the Senate Proclamation from the Arizona Senate floor the day of the celebration. The Senate reading will be recorded and archived on the Arizona Legislature website (azleg.gov) under the Arizona Capitol Television tab.

More information regarding the Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week celebration can be found at arizonawaterprofessionals.com.

See Also

This event is sponsored by AZ Water Association. For more information, please contact Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn, Executive Director suzannedb@azwater.org or Juliet McKenna, event co-organizer, jmckenna@elmontgomery.com

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Arizona Department of Water Resources field hydrologists conducting “basin sweep” to collect water level measurements in the Prescott AMA and the Verde River Basin

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         February 4, 2022

Arizona Department of Water Resources field hydrologists conducting “basin sweep” to collect water level measurements in the Prescott AMA and the Verde River Basin

PHOENIX – Beginning the week of February 28, 2022, and continuing for several months, Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) field services staff will make an extensive effort to measure water levels in wells in the Prescott Active Management Area (AMA) and the Verde River Basin.  ADWR staff will attempt to measure water levels at hundreds of wells in these groundwater basins. This survey of wells – or basin “sweep,” as it is known – was last conducted in spring 2017 for the Prescott AMA and Verde River Basin.  

The data collected will be analyzed and used to obtain a comprehensive overview of the groundwater conditions and used to support scientific and water management planning efforts. Among others, data uses will include:

  • Analysis of water-level trends
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Water-level change maps
  • Hydrologic reports
  • Water resource planning and management.

This basin sweep covers an area generally in the central – northwestern portion of the state and extends west of Payson and Flagstaff, east and southeast of Peach Springs and north of Bradshaw and Mazatzal Mountains.  The Phoenix AMA consists of the Little Chino and Upper Agua Fria Sub-basins and the Verde River Basin consists of the Big Chino, Verde Valley and Verde Canyon Sub-basins.

For more information regarding this matter, please contact Public Information Officer Shauna Evans at smevans@azwater.gov or (602) 771-8079.

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Arizona Department of Water Resources field hydrologists conducting “basin sweep” to collect water level measurements in the Western Planning Area: Butler Valley, Harquahala, McMullen Valley, Ranegras Plain, and Tiger Wash Basins

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         January 5, 2022

Arizona Department of Water Resources field hydrologists conducting “basin sweep” to collect water level measurements in the Western Planning Area: Butler Valley, Harquahala, McMullen Valley, Ranegras Plain, and Tiger Wash Basins

PHOENIX – Beginning the week of January 1st, 2022, and scheduled to continue for multiple months, Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) field services staff will be making an extensive effort to measure water levels in wells in the Western Planning Area (WPA): Butler Valley, Harquahala, McMullen Valley, Ranegras Plain, and Tiger Wash Basins.  ADWR’s objective is to measure water levels at hundreds of wells in these groundwater basins. This survey of wells – or basin “sweep,” as it is known – was last conducted in winter 2016 for the WPA.  The Harquahala Irrigation Non-Expansion Area (INA) will also be included in the basin sweep as it is contained within the Harquahala Basin. 

The data collected will be analyzed and used to obtain a comprehensive overview of the groundwater conditions and used to support scientific and water management planning efforts. Data collected will be used for several purposes, including:

  • Analysis of water-level trends
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Water-level change maps
  • Hydrologic reports
  • Water resource planning and management.

This basin sweep covers an area generally in the western to southwestern portion of the State and extends east of Plomosa and Kofa Mountains, west of Big Horn, Vulture and Harquahala Mountains, north of Eagle Tail Mountains and south of Bouse Hills, Buckskin and Harcuvar Mountains. 

For more information regarding this matter, please contact Public Information Officer Shauna Evans at smevans@azwater.gov or (602) 771-8079. Details about the nature of basin sweeps and groundwater modeling can be found here.

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Water agencies announce partnership to invest $200 million in conservation efforts to bolster Colorado River’s Lake Mead, under 500+ plan

Las Vegas, Nevada (December 15, 2021) – LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Water agencies across Arizona, California and Nevada, together with the Department of the Interior, today announced a historic effort to invest up to $200 million in projects over the next two years to keep the Colorado River’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, from dropping to critically low levels.

The agreement, known as the 500+ Plan, aims to add 500,000 acre-feet of additional water to Lake Mead in both 2022 and 2023 by facilitating actions to conserve water across the Lower Colorado River Basin. The additional water – enough water to serve about 1.5 million households a year – would add about 16 feet total to the reservoir’s level, which continues to reach record low levels.

“Two decades of drought on the Colorado River is taking a toll across the Basin and on Lake Mead. By working together we’ve staved off these historic low levels for years, thanks to collaboration and conservation in the Lower Basin. But we need even more action, and we need it now,” said Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

In addition to Reclamation, the 500+ Plan includes the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Central Arizona Project, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed today during the Colorado River Water Users Association’s annual conference, ADWR commits up to $40 million to the initiative over two years, with CAP, Metropolitan and SNWA each contributing up to $20 million. The federal government plans to match those commitments, for a total funding pool of $200 million.

Some of the specific conservation actions and programs that will be implemented through the 500+ Plan have already begun, while others are still being identified. The MOU includes conservation efforts in both urban and agricultural communities, such as funding crop fallowing on farms to save water, including the recent approval of a short-term agricultural land fallowing program in California, or urban conservation to reduce diversions from Lake Mead.

In 2019, Arizona, Nevada and California signed the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan and agreed to contribute water to Lake Mead as it reached certain levels, to keep it from dropping even further and reaching critically low levels. The DCP also included a provision that if modeling indicates a possibility of the reservoir reaching an elevation of 1,030 feet, action would be required.

“Our work on the 2019 DCP took more than five years to complete. This commitment to work together to stabilize Lake Mead came together in a matter of a few months,” said Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke. “That alone is a powerful testament to the commitment of the Lower Basin States to work together with our partners at Reclamation to protect this vital river system.”

“These past months have presented tremendous challenges with the additional pressure of the need to work quickly. But rather than drive us apart, this difficult situation has further strengthened our relationships. It’s amazing that work of this magnitude, sensitivity and expense could come together in this amount of time,” said Central Arizona Project General Manager Ted Cooke.

“We had hoped the contributions made under the DCP would be enough to stabilize Lake Mead while we seek longer-term solutions to the challenges on the Colorado River. But they aren’t, which is why we are moving forward with the 500+ Plan,” said Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil.

“It is imperative that all users on the Colorado River take action now to preserve this critical resource that we all depend upon,” said SNWA General Manager John Entsminger. “We hope as this initiative is developed, that along with our other many conservation efforts, it will provide strong support for Lake Mead water levels.”

The plan marks the latest collaborative effort by the Lower Basin states in partnership with Reclamation to bring sustainability to the Colorado River, which has been in a historic drought since 2000.

The plan also highlights the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $8.3 billion investment in water infrastructure and will help minimize the impacts of drought, and develop a long-term plan to facilitate conservation and economic growth. The BID’s investments will fund water efficiency and recycling programs, rural water projects, WaterSMART grants and dam safety to ensure that irrigators, Tribes and adjoining communities receive adequate assistance and support.

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
Patti Aaron
paaron@usbr.gov
702-293-8189
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES
Shauna Evans
smevans@azwater.gov
602-771-8079
SOUTHERN NEVADA WATER AUTHORITY
Bronson Mack
bronson.mack@lvvwd.com 702-249-5518
CENTRAL ARIZONA PROJECT
DeEtte Person
dperson@cap-az.com
623-869-2597
METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT
Rebecca Kimitch
rkimitch@mwdh2o.com
202-821-5253
 

Comment Period for Arizona Water Protection Fund Fiscal Year 2022 Grant Applications Now Open

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 15, 2021

Press Release

CONTACT: Shauna Evans

(602) 771-8079

smevans@azwater.gov

Comment Period for Arizona Water Protection Fund Fiscal Year 2022 Grant Applications Now Open

PHOENIX – The Arizona Water Protection Fund* has received grant applications for its fiscal year 2022 funding cycle. 

Grant applications are now available for public review at the Arizona Water Protection Fund website at  www.azwpf.gov/grant-information/2022

Written comments regarding grant applications may be submitted during the 45-day public comment period, which begins September 15, 2021 and ends October 29, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.  Written public comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., October 29, 2021.  Written comments can be mailed, sent via email, or sent by fax.  If mailed, written comments must be postmarked no later than October 29, 2021.  Please include application numbers and titles.

The Arizona Water Protection Fund supports projects that develop or implement on the ground measures that directly maintain, enhance and restore Arizona’s river and riparian resources.

Mailing AddressFaxEmail
Arizona Water Protection Fund
Arizona Department of Water Resources
Attn: Reuben Teran
P.O. Box 36020
Phoenix, Arizona 85067
(602) 771-8687rteran@azwater.gov

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* The Arizona Water Protection Fund supports projects that develop or implement on the ground measures that directly maintain, enhance and restore Arizona’s river and riparian resources

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Arizona heads into Tier 1 Colorado River Shortage for 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AUGUST 16, 2021

ADWR and CAP joint statement in response to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s first-ever declaration of a Colorado River Shortage

Phoenix, Arizona (August 16, 2021) – The Colorado River Basin continues to experience drought and the impacts of hotter and drier conditions. Based on the Jan. 1 projected level of Lake Mead at 1,065.85 feet above sea level, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior has declared the first-ever Tier 1 shortage for Colorado River operations in 2022.

This Tier 1 shortage will result in a substantial cut to Arizona’s share of the Colorado River – about 30% of Central Arizona Project’s normal supply; nearly 18% of Arizona’s total Colorado River supply; and less than 8% of Arizona’s total water use. Nearly all the reductions within Arizona will be borne by Central Arizona Project (CAP) water users. In 2022, reductions will be determined by Arizona’s priority system – the result will be less available Colorado River water for central Arizona agricultural users.

While Arizona will take the required mandatory reductions under a Tier 1 shortage, the reductions to CAP water users will be partially mitigated by resources that have been set aside in advance for this purpose.

“The 2019 Drought Contingency Plan put in place agreements and Arizona water users have taken collective action to mitigate reduced CAP water for affected municipalities, tribes and CAP agriculture,” said Ted Cooke, general manager, Central Arizona Project. “These DCP near-term actions will provide relief from reductions that will occur in 2022 as a result of a Tier 1 shortage.”

Given the recent intensification of the drought, deeper levels of shortage are likely in the next few years. As impacts of drought persist, additional reductions to CAP water users are likely to occur pursuant to the DCP. Such reductions would include impacts to CAP water currently available to some central Arizona municipalities and tribes.

The near-record low runoff in the Colorado River in 2021 significantly reduced storage in Lake Powell. The reduction in storage, combined with projections for future months, has triggered provisions of the 2019 Drought Contingency Plan designed to protect critical elevations in Lake Powell and Lake Mead through additional collective actions.

“ADWR and CAP are working collaboratively with Arizona stakeholders and the Basin States to deploy more adaptive measures consistent with the Drought Contingency Plan and associated agreements,” said Tom Buschatzke, director, Arizona Department of Water Resources. “At the same time, ADWR and CAP will continue to work with partners within Arizona and across the Basin to develop and implement longer-term solutions to the shared risks we all face on the Colorado River now and into the future.”

Buschatzke continued, “We in Arizona have acted and will continue to act to protect the water resources of our state and of the Colorado River system overall.”

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About Arizona Department of Water Resources

The Arizona Department of Water Resources safeguards the health, safety and economic welfare of the public by protecting, conserving and enhancing Arizona’s water supplies in a bold, thoughtful and innovative manner. new.azwater.gov

About Central Arizona Project Central

Arizona Project (CAP) is Arizona’s single largest resource for renewable water supplies. CAP is designed to bring 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. CentralArizonaProject.com

Check out ADWR & CAP’s Colorado River Shortage Fact Sheet

State Climatologist Nancy Selover to Participate in Final Drought Declaration Panel

After 14 years as Arizona’s top analyst of weather data, State Climatologist Nancy Selover has announced her retirement. Effectively if not literally, she has weathered the stormy challenges of being the top weather-and-climate expert in a state that has been dogged by persistent drought throughout her time in office.

A research professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University, Selover also will retire from her ASU duties, which involve research into urban heat-island effects, microclimate and evaporation.

Her role as State Climatologist, however, is the one that has put her most prominently in the public eye. Appointed in 2007 by then-Governor Janet Napolitano, Dr. Selover has spent countless hours in public forums providing climate data and information about Arizona weather issues to the general public, government agencies, private industry and other researchers.

She has said that her greatest pleasure in the job has been her presentations to schools and community groups, discussing climate and weather topics that impact Arizona and, in her words, “communicating climate science to stakeholders in plain vanilla.”

On Tuesday, May 11 at 10 a.m., Dr. Selover will participate in her final meeting with the Drought Interagency Coordinating Group. At that meeting, the ICG will be asked to make a recommendation to Governor Doug Ducey about whether to maintain the official Drought Declarations that are currently in place.

Information about the May 11 ICG meeting may be found on the Arizona Department of Water Resources website at new.azwater.gov/drought

The following is a recording of a farewell discussion between ADWR’s Arizona Water News and Dr. Selover.

On the frontlines with ADWR during National Groundwater Awareness Week

Before ADWR Field Services can conduct their examinations of the current condition and depth of wells drilled in Arizona, all the data about the wells themselves must be compiled and organized by the Department’s Groundwater Permitting and Wells division. That enormous task of compiling and organizing data on Arizona’s estimated 200,000 wells is managed by Stella Murillo, who spoke about her division’s duties during National Groundwater Awareness Week.

On the frontlines with ADWR during National Groundwater Awareness Week

More than perhaps any other state agency, the Arizona Department of Water Resources is committed to the protection of our State’s groundwater resources. We are a creation of one of the most far-sighted laws in the nation created in defense of its groundwater — the Arizona Groundwater Management Act of 1980 — and we take that mission to defend Arizona’s water resources seriously. No agency is more… aware of the importance of groundwater than ADWR.
In this podcast recognizing National Groundwater Awareness Week, we have asked an ADWR employee on the front lines of groundwater management about his duties, and about what those tasks mean to him. Scott Stuk is head of ADWR’s basic-data group in the Field Services Division. Scott took a few moments during Groundwater Awareness Week to talk about what he does for a living… and what he believes it means to Arizona.

Arizona Department of Water Resources field hydrologists conducting “basin sweep” to collect water level measurements in the Dripping Spring Wash, Aravaipa Canyon, Donnelly Wash and Lower San Pedro Basins

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         March 11, 2021

Arizona Department of Water Resources field hydrologists conducting “basin sweep” to collect water level measurements in the Dripping Spring Wash, Aravaipa Canyon, Donnelly Wash and Lower San Pedro Basins

PHOENIX – Beginning the week of March 8, 2021, and continuing for several months, Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) field services staff will be making an extensive effort to measure water levels in wells in the Dripping Spring Wash, Aravaipa Canyon, Donnelly Wash and Lower San Pedro Basins.  ADWR staff will attempt to measure water levels at hundreds of wells in these groundwater basins.  This survey of wells – or basin “sweep,” as it is known — will be the first such basin survey since 2006 for the Lower San Pedro Basin and since 1996 for Dripping Spring Wash, Aravaipa Canyon, and Donnelly Wash Basins. The data collected will be analyzed and used to obtain a comprehensive overview of the groundwater conditions, as well as to support scientific and water management planning efforts. Data collected will be used for several purposes, including:

  • Analysis of water-level trends
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Water-level change maps
  • Hydrologic reports
  • Water resource planning and management.

This basin sweep covers an area generally in the southeastern portion of the state and extends east of Florence and Tucson, west of Safford, north of Benson and south of Globe-Miami. 

For more information regarding the planned basin sweep, see ADWR Public Information Officer Shauna Evans at smevans@azwater.gov or (602) 771-8079. Details about the nature of basin sweeps and groundwater modeling can be found here.

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