skip to the content of this page
AZ.gov Arizona's Official Website Arizona Department of Water Resources
Arizona Department of Water Resources AZ.gov 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

Office of Assured and Adequate Water Supply

Outdoors AZArizona Outdoorsamber desert

About the Program

The Office of Assured and Adequate Water Supply manages applications for both the Assured Water Supply program and the Adequate Water Supply program.  The Assured Water Supply Program covers subdivisions within Active Management Areas (AMAs) while the Adequate Water Supply Program covers developments outside of the AMAs.  Four types of applications are processed in each of these roughly parallel programs:  Physical Availability Demonstration (PAD), Designation of Assured (or Adequate) Water Supply, Analysis of Assured (or Adequate) Water Supply, and either Certificate of Assured Water Supply or Water Adequacy Report. 

Pending Applications Status

For a status list of pending applications of assured or adequate water supply, click here Excel Document

 

If you have any questions please call or email the Office of Assured and Adequate Water Supply at 602-771-8599 or assuredadequate@azwater.gov.

Hydrologic Guidelines

The Assured and Adequate Water Supply Rules, A.A.C. R12-15-701 through R12-15-730, require applicants to submit hydrologic information to support certain aspects of their applications. A substantive policy statement applies to hydrologic studies seeking physical availability for a groundwater supply source.

Issued Determinations of Assured and Adequate Water Supply

Issued determinations of assured or adequate water supply as reflected in the Department’s electronic records as of August 1, 2014.

Please contact the Office of Assured and Adequate Water Supply Program at (602) 771-8599 for additional information.

Office Of Assured & Adequate Water Supply                                                                                 

Assured and Adequate Water Supply rules effective September 12, 2006

Official publication by the Secretary of State: click here

Remember: for land within the AMAs, use the Assured Water Supply applications. For land outside of an AMA, use the Adequate Water Supply applications. Total projected demand for the proposed subdivision - needed on the application - can be estimated with the help of the demand calculator.

Both programs are driven by the definition of a subdivision from the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) as six or more parcels with at least one parcel having an area less than 36 acres. This includes residential or commercial subdivisions, stock cooperatives, condominiums, and all lands subdivided as part of a common promotional plan (including golf courses, parks, schools, and other amenities). Short-term leases (12 months or less) and subdivisions where all parcels are greater than 36 acres in size do not fall under this definition. If the proposed development does not meet the definition of a subdivision, then neither program applies.


The Assured Water Supply program was created as part of the historic 1980 Groundwater Management Act, and operates within Arizona’s five Active Management Areas. Applicants are required to demonstrate an assured water supply that will be physically, legally, and continuously available for the next 100 years before the developer can record plats or sell parcels. The ADRE will not issue a public report, which allows the developer to sell lots, without a demonstration of an assured water supply. The developer can prove a 100 year supply by satisfying the requirements to obtain a Certificate of Assured Water Supply or by a written commitment of service from a provider with a Designation of Assured Water Supply.

Applications for Certificates of Assured Water Supply comprise the majority of applications processed within the Assured Water Supply program. Other types, such as PADs or Analyses (but not Designations) usually lead to the issuance of one or more Certificates for a subdivision or master planned community, but do not demonstrate an assured water supply in and of themselves. In order to obtain a determination of Assured Water Supply, seven criteria must be met:

  1. The water supply must be physically available for 100 years.
  2. The water supply must must be legally available for 100 years
  3. The proposed supply must be continuously available for 100 years.
  4. The water must be of sufficient quality for the proposed use.
  5. The proposed water use must be consistent with the management goal of the AMA.
  6. The proposed water use must be consistent with the current management plan of the AMA.
  7. The applicant must demonstrate the financial capability to construct any necessary water storage, treatment, and delivery systems.

The Department reviews each application under various licensing time frames depending upon the application type. Incomplete or incorrect applications or lack of supporting documentation lengthen the actual review period. The time frame does not apply while the Department is waiting for the applicant to respond to requests for additional information. For a detailed description of the program, click here acrobat_icon.gif.

Frequently asked questions.

 

Designation

Phoenix DowntownPlease note that various water providers have received a designation of assured or adequate water supply from the Department. Individual developers do not need to obtain a separate determination of assured or adequate water supply for their development if they will be served by one of these designated water providers. A written commitment of service from the designated provider will suffice to meet the assured or adequate water supply requirement.

The Adequate Water Supply program, first created in 1973, operates outside of the Active Management Areas as a consumer protection program. Developers are required to obtain a determination from the Department concerning the quantity and quality of water available before the ADRE will allow any lot sales. If the application for a Water Adequacy Report successfully demonstrates that water of sufficient quality will be physically, legally, and continuously available for the next 100 years, then the Department will determine the water supply to be adequate. If the water supply is determined to be inadequate, the developer may still sell lots, but the inadequate determination must be disclosed to potential buyers in the public report approved by ADRE and in all promotional materials. If a provider with a Designation of Adequate Water Supply will serve the proposed subdivision, then the developer only has to provide a written commitment of service from the designated provider.

 

Assured and Adequate Water Supply Rules -  Governor's Notice of Rule Suspension
Adequacy Rules Stakeholder Process
Clarkdale, Az
Background

In 2007 the legislature passed SB 1575 which, among other things, provides clear authority for cities, towns and counties to adopt an ordinance requiring new subdivisions to obtain from the Department a determination of an adequate 100-year water supply in order to obtain final plat approval from the local platting authority. As a result, the Department is in the process of amending its  existing Adequate Water Supply Rules as required by SB 1575.

For most areas outside of the AMAs an adequacy determination from the Department is not required prior to recording a plat and initiating lot sales. For those areas (non-mandatory adequacy jurisdictions) developers may apply to the Department for an adequate or inadequate water adequacy determination, prior to initiating the final plat approval process with the local platting entity (city, town, or county) and filing for a public report with the ADRE. However, some local jurisdictions (cities, towns, and counties) have passed measures that require a 100-year water adequacy determination from ADWR prior to completing the final plat approval process (mandatory adequacy jurisdictions).

Completion of the Informal Rule Making Process

ADWR completed a series of statewide informal stakeholder meetings as part of the public process to form consensus around changes to the water adequacy rules. Beginning in February of 2008 and completed in November of 2008 the Department held over 20 informal stakeholder meetings in various locations across the state. 

In addition to input at the informal stakeholder meetings, the public had an opportunity to submit written comments about the draft rules. The deadline for written informal public comments was August 15, 2008.  The Department completed its review of the informal public comments, and made several changes to the draft rule as originally proposed as a result. On November 5, 2008 the Department provided a summary of comments and responses and amended DRAFT Rule Language.

November 5, 2008 Releaseacrobat

Initiation of the Formal Rule Making Process

On November 26th, 2008, the Department submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, proposing to amend the Assured and Adequate Water Supply Rules (A.A.C. R12-15-701, et seq.), as required by SB 1575. The Department requested that the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking be published in the Arizona Administrative Register on December 19, 2008.


For your information, below is a copy of the letter from the Department along with the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (This is not the OFFICIAL Version), that has been submitted to the Secretary of State. Please note the official Notice of Rule Making will be published in the Arizona Administrative Register on December 19, 2008,  you can access the OFFICIAL VERSION by visiting the Secretary of State's web site.

Letter from Department acrobat

Notice of Proposed Rule Making acrobat


-For questions or comments, or if you wish to be added to e-mail list sign-up click here.

Transportation of Groundwater

This notice informs the public that the Department of Water Resources (ADWR) is currently reviewing the public comments submitted for the new proposed rules for interbasin groundwater transportation in certain areas of the state. As part of this informal process, ADWR has made written public comments available for review click here.

Click here to view the draft rules updated June 18, 2008.

 

-For questions or comments, or if you wish to be added to e-mail list sign-up click here.

 

Santa Cruz Active Management Area - Assured Water Supply Rules

The Department announces the modification of the assured water supply rules for the Santa Cruz Active Management Area (SCAMA). The rule modification process was initiated in 2007 with the formation of a stakeholders group. Multiple meetings were held with various stakeholders in the SCAMA to discuss potential modifications to the rules. A copy of the draft rules is available here. Acrobat Icon pdf

The Department asked the stakeholder group and interested parties to submit written comments to the Department in late 2007. The summary of the comments are posted here for review. The Department will also be providing responses to the comments. The Department anticipates holding another stakeholder meeting to discuss the draft rules, comments, and Department responses in late October. Schedule and agenda will be posted here.

-For questions or comments, or if you wish to be added to e-mail list sign-up click here.


Forms

Water Adequacy Program SummaryPDF

Arizona Assured and Adequate Water Supply Programs Fact Sheet acrobat_icon.gif

Assured Water Supply Program BrochurePDF

 

ADDITIONAL FORMS