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Water Management

Solar Power Plants

With Arizona's sunny skies, its not surprising that the state has attracted many of the country's newly proposed solar power plants. Although these utility scale solar power plants use the sun's heat to generate power, many also rely on water as well, similar to coal and nuclear plants. To learn more about how water is used by solar power plants click here. OffSite Icon


Proposed Gila Bend Solar Power Plant

This web site was created to answer basic questions pertaining to permitting requirements for solar power plants in the state as well as to provide links to on-line water resource tools that may be helpful to the public, solar developers, and other regulatory agencies involved in the review and permitting of these solar projects.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources has requirements pertaining to the use of groundwater and surface water for solar power generation in Arizona. For more information, see

Water Management Requirements for Solar Power Plants in Arizona. Adobe Acrobat. pdf Requirements differ depending on the location of the proposed facility and the proposed water source. Proposed power plants located within Active Management Areas (AMAs) and the Harquahala Irrigation Non-expansion Area (INA) are generally more restricted in their use of groundwater by state statutes and rules than outside of these boundaries.

For additional information, please contact Jeff Tannler, Statewide AMA Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources: [email protected]

In addition to ADWR's requirements, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) are two state agencies that may have additional permitting requirements for solar power plants. Solar developers are strongly encouraged to contact both agencies.

Click here to learn more about the role of the ACC and Certificates of Environmental Compatibility in power plant siting and approval.Acrobat PDF Icon


Interested in learning more about the water resources in a particular area of the State? Arizona Department of Water Resources provides extensive information online useful for comprehensive hydrologic studies in the State of Arizona. Primary information sources are as follows: 

The “Well Registry Database” and the “Groundwater Site Inventory (GWSI) Database and Automated Groundwater Monitoring Sites” are map based interactive tools which provide specific well site information. The Well Registry Database is used to obtain and view data on all registered wells in Arizona, including data regarding owner, cadastral location, well type, water use and pumping data.  The GWSI Database is used to obtain groundwater data for automated sites and index wells, including water levels and hydrographs.  Both resources are accessed at: 


The ADWR “Imaged Records Database” provides many search functions essential for hydrologic studies.  This includes (but is not limited to) Well Registry Data (Wells 55), Wells 35, Groundwater Documents, and Assured/Adequate Water query sets.  Access to the Imaged Records portal is at: 

ADWR provides a plug-in at this location which enables browsing of the Imaged Records Database.


The “Hydrology eLibrary” includes digital versions of many ADWR publications.  This includes Groundwater Modeling Reports, the Hydrologic Map Series, Water Level Change Map Series, Open File Reports, and other miscellaneous publications.  The location of the eLibrary is:


The “Arizona Water Atlas” provides a comprehensive source of information and data on the state’s water resources, organized by Planning Areas and Groundwater Basins.  The Water Atlas is available on the web at


Information, including maps and reports, on land subsidence in Arizona is located at:


A collection of ADWR laws and rules, including Statutes, Arizona Administrative Code Rules, and Substantive Policy Statements is accessed at:






  Well in Detrital Valley Basin



Solar Technology Articles and Documents (new items will be added periodically)

Concentrating Solar Power Commercial Application Study: Reducing Water Consumption of Concentrating Solar Power Electricity Generation. Report to Congress. U.S. Department of Energy Acrobat PDF Icon