skip to the content of this page Arizona's Official Website Arizona Department of Water Resources
Arizona Department of Water Resources Arizona's Official Web Site
Securing Arizona's Water Future
Ask us a question...Click for site mapClick to use the ADWR DictionaryDepartment Contact InformationADWR CalendarSend page to printerPlace a Bookmark hereSend a link to this pageDecrease font sizeIncrease font size
Water Management

Active Management Areas (AMAs) & Irrigation Non-expansion Areas (INAs) 


Prescott AMA            Phoenix AMA           Pinal AMA          Tucson AMA          Santa Cruz AMA

The 1980 Arizona Groundwater Code recognized the need to aggressively manage the state’s finite groundwater resources to support the growing economy. Areas with heavy reliance on mined groundwater were identified and designated as Active Management Areas (AMAs). The five AMAs (Prescott, Phoenix, Pinal, Tucson, and Santa Cruz) are subject to regulation pursuant to the Groundwater Code. Each AMA carries out its programs in a manner consistent with these goals, while considering and incorporating the unique character of each AMA and its water users.

In the Phoenix, Prescott, and Tucson AMAs, the primary management goal is safe-yield by the year 2025. Safe-yield is accomplished when no more groundwater is being withdrawn than is being annually replaced.

In the Pinal AMA, where the economy is primarily agricultural, the management goal is to preserve that economy for as long as feasible, while considering the need to preserve groundwater for future non-irrigation uses.

In the Santa Cruz AMA the management goal to maintain a safe-yield condition in the active management area and to prevent local water tables from experiencing long term declines.


Procedures for Designating a Subsequent AMA/Subsequent INA 


Active Management Areas (AMAs)



           Map of the AMAs




Prescott AMA

  • Over 485 sq. miles
  • Consists of 2 sub-basins
  • 3 million Acre-Feet (AF) of groundwater in storage
  • 20,000 AF of annual water use

Phoenix AMA

  • Over 5600 sq. miles
  • Consists of 7 sub-basins
  • 287,000 acres of farmland
  • Over 2 million AF of annual water use

Pinal AMA

  • Over 4,000 sq. miles
  • Consists of 5 sub-basins
  • 260,000 acres of non-Indian farmland
  • Over 800,000 AF of non-Indian annual water use

Tucson AMA

  • Over 3,800 sq. miles
  • Consists of 2 sub-basins
  • Over 300,000 AF of annual water use

Santa Cruz AMA

  • Over 750 sq. miles
  • Consists of 1 sub-basin
  • Over 20,000 AF of annual water use
Active Management Area (AMA) Fact Sheet 


Irrigation Non-Expansion Areas (INAs)


The 1980 Groundwater Management Act established two Irrigation Non-Expansion Areas - Joseph City INA and Douglas INA.  The Harquahala INA was created in 1981. The Phoenix AMA manages the Joseph City and Harquahala INAs. INAs have restrictions on increasing their number of irrigated acres.

      More information 






Conservation Requirements and Management Plans

Management Plans for each active management area reflect the evolution of the Groundwater Code, moving Arizona toward its long-term water management goals. The plans include mandatory conservation programs for all persons withdrawing, distributing or receiving groundwater designed to achieve reductions in withdrawals of groundwater.

A series of five management plans prepared between 1980 and 2025 contain progressively more rigorous management requirements for agricultural, municipal and industrial water users.  The five management plans cover the following years:


First Management Period 1980 to 1990  
Second Management Period 1990 to 2000  
Third Management Period   2000 to 2010  
Fourth Management Period  2010 to 2020  
Fifth Management Period 2020 to 2025  



For more information about conservation requirements, assistance, low water use plants lists, and resources, visit


Groundwater Users Advisory Council (GUAC)

Each AMA has a five-member advisory council appointed by the Governor as established by the Groundwater Code. Members are appointed for six-year terms to represent groundwater users in their respective AMA. Each Groundwater Users Advisory Council provides advice and recommendations to the AMA Director on groundwater management programs and policies within the AMA.


Annual Reporting

Please view the Department's Annual Reporting Site for additional information about filing certain Annual Water Withdrawal and Use Reports for rights located within an AMA and Community Water System Annual Use Reports for rights located outside an AMA.