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




composite photo of city ag an mine

The Tucson Active Management Area covers 3,866 square miles in southern Arizona. The Tucson AMA is one of five AMAs established pursuant to the 1980 Groundwater Management Act and administered by the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

The Tucson AMA is in the basin and range physiographic province acrobat icon (700 KB) which is characterized by broad, gently sloping alluvial basins separated by north to northwest trending fault block mountains. There are two groundwater sub-basins in the AMA, the Avra Valley Sub-basin and the Upper Santa Cruz Sub- basin.

The AMA includes portions of Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz Counties, and five incorporated cities and towns: Tucson, South Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana and Sahuarita. The Pascua Yaqui tribal lands, part of the Schuk Toak District, and the entire San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation are within the AMA. The 2000 U.S. Census population was 836,000.

The original boundaries of the Tucson AMA included what is now the Santa Cruz AMA, which was created in 1994.

Management Goal

The Tucson AMA has a statutory goal of achieving safe-yield by 2025 and maintaining it thereafter. Safe-yield means that the amount of groundwater pumped from the AMA on an average annual basis does not exceed the amount that is naturally or artificially recharged. The safe-yield goal is a basin-wide balance. This means that water level declines in one portion of the AMA can be offset by recharging water in another part of the AMA. There are 

The safe-yield goal was established as part of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act, and is intended to address the long-term implications of groundwater overdraft.

Water Budget

ADWR's water budgets provide a broad overview of an AMA's water resource situation and they serve as a tool for assessing progress towards achievement of management goals. Budgets include some factors that are directly measured, some that are estimated, and some that are long-term averages. ADWR's planning budgets are also complex because they must account for legal characteristics of water, including artificial groundwater recharge.

Ch. 2 Overview of Water Resources acrobat icon (3.4 MB)
Ch. 3 Water Use Characteristics acrobat_icon (3.1 MB)
Ch. 11 Water Budgets and Projections acrobat_icon (4.9 MB)


Management Plan Development and Modification

Third Management Plan – Second Modification

Transcripts of Public Hearings, Summary of Hearings and Findings, Orders of Adoption and Modification Language – On January 9, 2008, the Director issued orders promulgating proposed modifications to the Third Management Plans for the purpose of adding a modified Non-Per Capita Conservation Program. Public hearings on the proposed modifications were held in Phoenix, Casa Grande, Prescott, Nogales and Tucson during the first week of March, 2008. On April 1, 2008, the Director issued a summary of the hearings and findings with respect to the matters considered during the hearings (“Summary of Hearings and Findings”). In the Summary of Hearings and Findings, the Director indicated that two changes would be made to the proposed modifications in response to comments received during the public hearings. On April 1, 2008, the Director issued orders adopting the proposed modifications with the changes described in the Summary of Hearings and Findings.

To view the Summary of Hearings and Findings, click here. To view the transcript of public hearing, Order of Adoption and modification language for each AMA, click on the appropriate link below:

Tucson AMA – Transcript of Public Hearing pdf, Order of Adoption pdf, Modification .doc



Tucson AMA Navigation Links