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. These credits can be recovered (pumped) during a shortage to provide back-up water supplies (known as "firming") for Arizona water users.
Through 2019, the Water Bank has accrued 4.28 million acre-feet (MAF) of long-term storage credits (LTSCs): 3.67 MAF for Arizona uses and 0.61 MAF on behalf of the State of Nevada. The AWBA firms water supplies for Central Arizona Project (CAP) Municipal and Industrial (M&I) subcontract holders and communities along the Colorado River. As the agent for the State, the AWBA is responsible for meeting the State's Indian firming obligations under the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA). The Water Bank 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 Water Bank helps to ensure long-term water supplies for Arizona and neighboring states.
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 existing infrastructure, includes an analysis of recovery capacity requirements focused on impacts to direct uses, and identifies future activities and commitments.
2021 Joint Update>
2021 Plan of Operation
In 2021, there will be no excess CAP water available to the AWBA for storage. The AWBA anticipates purchasing approximately 42,610 acre-feet of LTSCs and 2,450 ICS Firming credits. The 2021 Plan of Operation proposes to develop an estimated 45,060 AF of credits for a total cost of $10.84 million.
Plan of Operation>