The Arizona Water Banking Authority
The Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA; Water Bank) was established in 1996 to store the unused portion of Arizona’s annual Colorado River entitlement in Central and Southern Arizona. The AWBA stores water in underground aquifers to earn long-term storage credits (LTSCs). These credits can be recovered (pumped) during a shortage to provide back-up water supplies (known as "firming") for Arizona water users.
Through 2020, the AWBA has accrued 4,360,000 acre-feet of LTSCs: 3,750,000 acre-feet for Arizona uses and 613,846 acre-feet on behalf of the State of Nevada. The AWBA firms water supplies for Central Arizona Project municipal and industrial subcontract holders and communities along the Colorado River. As the agent for the State, the AWBA is responsible for meeting the State's Tribal firming obligations under the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004. The AWBA also assists with meeting the State's water management objectives under the Groundwater Code and provides the mechanism for interstate water banking with the other Lower Basin States. By storing water, the AWBA helps to ensure long-term water supplies for Arizona and neighboring states.
2023 Plan of Operation
In 2023, the Colorado River will operate under a Lower Basin Tier 2a shortage condition, which effectively reduces Arizona's Colorado River entitlement by 592,000 acre-feet. Accordingly, there will be no excess CAP water available to the AWBA for storage.
While significant, the reductions in
2023 Tier 2a Shortage
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior has declared a Tier 2a shortage for Colorado River operations in 2023. This Tier 2a shortage will result in a substantial cut to Arizona’s share of the Colorado River — about 37% of Central Arizona Project’s normal supply; approximately 21% of Arizona’s total
2021 Joint Recovery Planning Update
The 2021 Joint Update is a collaborative effort among the AWBA, ADWR, CAP, RPAG and stakeholders to advance recovery planning. This Joint Update builds on previous planning efforts in the 2014 Plan, further discusses Independent Recovery concepts intended to increase flexibility and fully utilize
NEXT QUARTERLY MEETING
The next quarterly meeting of the Arizona Water Banking Authority Commission has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, 2023 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
This meeting will be held both in-person and via webinar with login details posted 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.02(A)(1), all public notices of meetings of the AWBA Commission and any of its subcommittees will be physically posted at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, 1110 W. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona, near the elevators on the first floor, which is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except legal holidays. AWBA Commission meetings will also be electronically posted to this website under Meetings.
The Arizona Water Banking Authority coordinates with ADWR and CAWCD, working cooperatively to ensure recovery implementation is achievable when needed.
This interactive GIS map allows you to view AWBA credits at each storage facility and download the full data into excel.
The Water Bank was created in 1996 to store the unused portion of Arizona's Colorado River entitlement.