Photo courtesy of Brian F. O’Neill


The Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA) has a responsibility to firm supplies for Fourth Priority (P4) Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Colorado River water users along the river. On-River contractors hold 81,905 acre-feet of P4 M&I Colorado River water entitlement. These on-River contractors can enter into an agreement with the AWBA for firming (back-up supplies). Mohave County Water Authority (MCWA) is the only on-River entity to enter into a firming agreement with the AWBA.  

The funding sources available to the AWBA can only be used for certain purposes. Credits earned using the State's General Fund appropriations can be used for firming on-River P4 M&I users, firming CAP M&I subcontractors, settling Indian water rights claims, or extinguished to further water management goals. However, the AWBA is required (A.R.S § 45- 2457(B)(1)) to reserve a reasonable number of General Fund credits for firming P4 on-River M&I users. The AWBA adopted Resolution 2002-1 that prioritizes use of these credits for this purpose. 

The AWBA has accrued 403,830 acre-feet of credits of the 420,000 acre-feet of credits originally identified as the amount of credits that should be set aside for P4 P-4 on-River M&I firming. The AWBA and MCWA entered into an agreement to reserve 230,280 acre-feet of credits to firm MCWA subcontractors (Agreement to Firm Future Supplies). This agreement was subsequently amended to reserve an additional 25,894 acre-feet of credits (Amended Agreement to Firm Supplies). MCWA has also entered into an agreement with the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) for the exchange and recovery of these reserved credits.

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