Types of Recharge Permits
A person who wishes to store, save, replenish, or recover water through the recharge program must apply for permits through ADWR. Depending on what the applicant intends to accomplish, up to three types of ADWR permits may be required.
An Underground Storage Facility (USF) Permit (A.R.S. § 45-811.01 ) allows the permit holder to operate a facility that stores water in the aquifer. The criteria a USF must meet in order to be permitted include:
A Constructed Underground Storage Facility Permit allows for water to be stored in an aquifer by using some type of constructed device, such as an injection well or percolation basin.
A Managed Underground Storage Facility Permit allows for water to be discharged to a naturally water-transmissive area such as a streambed that allows the water to percolate into the aquifer without the assistance of a constructed device. All surface flows entering and exiting a managed underground storage facility must be measured at the facility boundaries in a manner consistent with the Department’s measuring device rules (R12-15-905 & 906 ).
A Groundwater Savings Facility (GSF) Permit (A.R.S. § 45-812.01 ) allows the permit holder to deliver a renewable water supply, called "in-lieu" water, to a recipient who agrees to replace groundwater pumping with in lieu water, thus creating a groundwater savings. The recipient must agree in writing that for every gallon of in lieu water received, the recipient will reduce groundwater withdrawals from within an Active Management Area (AMA) or Irrigation Non-expansion Area (INA) by one gallon. Information regarding the criteria a facility must meet in order to be permitted as a GSF is included in A.R.S. § 45-812.01.
Water Storage Permits
A Water Storage (WS) Permit (A.R.S. § 45-831.01) allows the permit holder to store water at a USF or GSF. In order to store water, the applicant must provide to the Department evidence of its legal right to the source water proposed for recharge. A contract for CAP water must be submitted to the Department prior to storing CAP water obtained pursuant to that contract. Water storage must occur at a permitted facility. For further requirements, see A.R.S. §§ 45-831.01 & 45-852.01.
Recovery Well Permits
A Recovery Well (RW) Permit (A.R.S. § 45-834.01) allows the permit holder to recover long-term storage credits or to recover stored water annually. The impact of recovering stored water in the proposed location must not damage other land and water users, as noted in the adopted well spacing and impact rules (R12-15-1301-1308). An impact analysis is required under certain circumstances.
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