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






1863 Arizona Territory Established 1864 Howell Code 1877 Desert Land Act 1888 Clo v. Wing 1902 National Reclamation Act 1904 Howard v. Perrin 1906 Gould v. Maricopa Canal Company 1908 Winters v. United States 1910 Arizona Constitution is adopted 1911 Theodore Roosevelt Dam completed 1912 Arizona Statehood 1918 McKenzie v. Moore 1919 Public Water Code is adopted 1922 Colorado River Compact 1926 Pima Farms Company v. Proctor 1928 Boulder Canyon Project Act 1931 Maricopa Co. Municipal Water Conservation District v. Southwest Cotton Co. 1935 Completion of Hoover Dam 1938 First Groundwater Study Group 1944 Mexican Water Treaty is signed.
Arizona approves the Colorado River Compact
1945 Arizona's first Groundwater Code is adopted 1948 Critical Groundwater Code is adopted
Upper Colorado River Basin Compact
Arizona Interstate Stream Commission
1951 Arizona's Second Groundwater Study Commission is formed 1952 Bristor v. Cheatham I 1953 Bristor v. Cheatham II 1955 Southwest Engineering Co. v. Ernst 1956 Colorado River Project Storage Act 1963 Arizona v. California 1966 Glen Canyon Dam is completed 1968 Colorado River Basin Project Act 1969 Jarvis v. State Land Department I 1970 Jarvis v. State Land Department II 1973 Construction of the CAP Canal begins at Lake Havasu City 1974 Water Rights Registration Act 1977 Amendments to 1948 Groundwater Code
Stockpond Water Rights Registration Act
Federal Budget Cuts
1979 Groundwater Study Commission releases its Draft Report of Tentative Recommendations
Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus
1980 Groundwater Management Act is adopted
Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus
1981 Town of Chino Valley v. City of Prescott 1982 Cherry v. Steiner 1984 & 1985 First Management Plans are adopted
The Central Arizona Project
1984 & 1985 First Management Plans are adopted
The Central Arizona Project
1986 The Lakes Bill
Underground Water Storage Act
1989 Second Management Plans are adopted
Arizona Public Service Company v. Long
1990 Indirect Groundwater Storage 1991 Restrictions on transporting groundwater to Active Management Areas 1992 Water Exchange Legislation 1993 Restrictions on transporting groundwater outside of Active Management Areas
Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District
1994 Underground Water Storage, Savings and Replenishment Act
Water Protection Fund
1995 Assured and Adequate Water Supply Rules
Santa Cruz Active Management Area is established
1996 Arizona Water Banking Authority 1999 Third Management Plans are adopted
Offstream Storage of Colorado River Water and Development and Release of Intentionally Created Unused Apportionment in the Lower Division States
In re the General Adjudication of all Rights to Use Water in the Gila River System and Source (Gila III)
2000 Governor's Water Management Commission
In re the General Adjudication of all Rights to Use Water in the Gila River System and Source (Gila IV)
2001 Colorado River Interim Surplus Guidelines
Agreement for Interstate Water Banking
In re the General Adjudication of all Rights to Use Water in the Gila River System and Source (Gila V)
2003 Governor's Drought Task Force 2004 Arizona Water Settlement Act 2005 Community Water System planning and reporting requirements 2006 Phelps Dodge v. Arizona Department of Water Resources 2007 Mandatory water adequacy legislation
Agreement Concerning Colorado River Management and Operations
Record of Decision on Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead
1863
Arizona Territory Established
Arizona is declared a U.S. territory by President Lincoln on February 24, making it separate from the New Mexico Territory
1864
Howell Code
The first Arizona Territorial Legislature adopts the Howell Code, which establishes the doctrine of prior appropriation for surface water – "First in Time, First in Right."
1877
Desert Land Act
Passed by Congress on March 3 to encourage and promote the economic development of the Western states by allowing individuals to apply for a desert-land entry to reclaim, irrigate and cultivate arid and semi-arid public lands. Lands granted through the Act do not convey any water rights, as the Act provides that water rights were to be acquired through state law
1888
Clough v. Wing
The Arizona Territorial Supreme Court issues a decision recognizing the doctrine of prior appropriation as the means of allocating surface waters of the Territory, and stating that beneficial use is the limit of a water right
1902
National Reclamation Act
This Act, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, recognizes that a key component to Western growth and development is constructing a system of irrigation works for the storage, diversion and development of water. The Act provides funding for irrigation projects in the Western states and results in the creation of the U.S. Reclamation Service (later the Bureau of Reclamation). The Act provides that "the right of the use of water acquired under the provision of this Act shall be appurtenant to the land irrigated, and beneficial use shall be the basis, the measure, and the limit of the right."
1904
Howard v. Perrin
The Arizona Territorial Supreme Court ruling in this case (upheld in 1906 by the U.S. Supreme Court) recognizes a definite distinction, in character and ownership, between appropriable surface water and percolating groundwater. The court holds that percolating groundwater is the property of the overlying landowner and not subject to appropriation as surface water. The court further holds that subterranean streams flowing in natural channels between well-defined banks are subject to appropriation
1906
Gould v. Maricopa Canal Company
The Arizona Territorial Supreme Court holds that the vested right to the use of water for irrigation is not with the canal company but with the users who put the water to beneficial use on land they own or possess. The court further holds that ownership of the means of diversion is not essential to perfect the right of appropriation
1908
Winters v. United States
The United States Supreme Court holds that an Indian tribe's water rights are established when the reservation is created, regardless of whether the tribe actually uses water on the reservation at that time. The Court holds that Congress, by creating the reservation, impliedly reserved all the waters of the river necessary for the purposes for which the reservation was created
1910
Arizona Constitution is adopted
The Arizona Constitution is adopted by delegates to the Constitutional Convention. It becomes effective in 1912 following ratification by voters of the State and approval by Congress and President Taft. Article XVII, § 1 states: "The common law doctrine of riparian water rights shall not obtain or be of any force or effect in the State." Article XVII, § 2 states: "All existing rights to the use of any of the waters in the State for all useful or beneficial purposes are hereby recognized and confirmed."
1911
Theodore Roosevelt Dam is completed
This structure is the first multi-purpose project built by the Bureau of Reclamation. The dam is located 76 miles northeast of Phoenix at the confluence of the Salt River and Tonto Creek where it is operated and maintained by the Salt River Project
1912
Arizona Statehood
Arizona is accepted for statehood by President Taft and becomes the 48th state on February 14, 1912
1918
McKenzie v. Moore
The Arizona Supreme Court holds that water from a spring that is not the source of a watercourse is not appropriable, but instead belongs to the owner of the land on which the spring is located, who may use its entire flow
1919
Public Water Code is adopted
Enacted by the legislature on June 12, the Public Water Code establishes administrative procedures for obtaining a right to use appropriable water, including a permitting system. These procedures replace the prior practice of either merely putting the water to beneficial use or posting a notice at the point of diversion, recording a copy of the notice with the County Recorder, and then putting the water to beneficial use.
1922
Colorado River Compact
The Seven Basin States negotiate an interstate compact dividing the Colorado River Basin into an Upper and Lower River Basin and apportioning 7.5 MAF of Colorado River water per year to each basin. Arizona refuses to ratify the Compact (but signs it in 1944) because of concerns over how its tributary waters from the Salt and Gila Rivers will be counted in the apportionment. Article VII, inserted at the insistence of Herbert Hoover, the Colorado River Commission's federal chairman, states "Nothing in this compact shall be construed as affecting the obligations of the United States of America to Indian Tribes."
1926
Pima Farms Company v. Proctor
The Arizona Supreme Court holds that a junior appropriator of water from an underground stream flowing within defined channels may be enjoined from lowering the water levels in the senior appropriator's wells because under the doctrine of prior appropriation, a junior appropriator may not render ineffective the prior appropriator's means of diversion.
1928
Boulder Canyon Project Act
Passed by Congress on December 21, 1928, this Act authorizes construction of the Hoover Dam on the condition that the Colorado River Compact is ratified. The Act provides a mechanism for approval of the Colorado River Compact without Arizona's approval and authorized the apportionment of the Lower Basin's 7.5 million acre-feet (MAF) among the states of California (4.4 MAF), Arizona (2.8 MAF) and Nevada (0.3 MAF). The Act also designates the Secretary of the Interior as the sole contracting authority for Colorado River water use in the Lower Basin.
1931
Maricopa Co. Municipal Water Conservation District v. Southwest Cotton Co
The Arizona Supreme Court holds that water seeping through a streambed or from lands under or immediately adjacent to a stream (referred to as "subflow") is part of the surface stream and is therefore appropriable. The test of whether subsurface water is appropriable is whether drawing off of the subsurface water tends to diminish directly and appreciably the flow of the surface stream ("direct and appreciable test.")
1935
Completion of Hoover Dam
On September 30, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The dam stores water for use by the Lower Division states, controls flooding, improves navigation, regulates the flow of the Colorado River and generates hydroelectricity. The reservoir created by the dam is Lake Mead.
1938
First Groundwater Study Group
Governor Stanford appoints a group to study groundwater in response to growing concerns over increased groundwater pumping. The efforts of this group lead to the legislature appropriating monies to the U.S. Geological Survey to study and report on groundwater conditions in the state
1944
Mexican Water Treaty is signed
The United States and Mexico sign a treaty providing for an annual allocation of 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water to Mexico. The Treaty further provides for an increase in that volume, up to a total of 1.7 million acre-feet, if a surplus exists, and for a reduction in that volume "in the event of extraordinary drought or serious accident to the irrigation system in the United States …."
1944
Arizona approves the Colorado River Compact
Governor Osborn announces a policy shift in Arizona's position on matters relating to the Colorado River. As a result, Arizona approves the Colorado River Compact in hopes of getting approval for a reclamation project to deliver Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona (Central Arizona Project) and because of concerns over the recently-signed Mexican Water Treaty
1945
Arizona’s first Groundwater Code is adopted
Holding Arizona to its claim that construction of the Central Arizona Project would reduce groundwater use instead of allowing for more groundwater use by agricultural users, the Bureau of Reclamation warns that the Central Arizona Project will not be approved without restrictions on groundwater use. In response, the legislature enacts a Groundwater Code, but the Code only requires the registration of wells throughout the State.
1948
Critical Groundwater Code is adopted
The Federal Government warns that the funding for the CAP will not be approved without a more meaningful Groundwater Code. The legislature responds by enacting the 1948 Code, which prohibits the drilling of new irrigation wells in ten designated Critical Groundwater Areas. However, the Code does nothing to regulate groundwater withdrawals from existing irrigation wells in those areas, thereby allowing groundwater pumping to continue at historic levels
1948
Upper Colorado River Basin Compact
The Upper Colorado River Basin States enter into an interstate compact apportioning the waters of the Upper Basin of the Colorado River between Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Arizona is included because Chinle Wash drains into the River above Lee Ferry. Arizona is apportioned 50,000 acre-feet per year of Upper Basin Colorado River water.
1948
Arizona Interstate Stream Commission
The legislature establishes the Arizona Interstate Stream Commission to defend Arizona's rights to Colorado River water and to advance the authorization and construction of the Central Arizona Project
1951
Arizona’s Second Groundwater Study Commission is formed
In response to criticism that the 1948 Groundwater Code allows groundwater pumping to continue at historic levels within Critical Groundwater Areas, the second Groundwater Study Commission is formed to draft a new groundwater bill. The legislature fails to pass any of the Commission's recommendations and the Commission is ultimately abolished.
1952
Bristor v. Cheatham I
The Arizona Supreme Court holds that percolating groundwater is not owned by the owner of the overlying land but instead is subject to prior appropriation. This ruling reverses nearly 50 years of common law that had stated that percolating groundwater was not subject to prior appropriation.
1953
Bristor v. Cheatham II
The Arizona Supreme Court reverses its decision in Bristor v. Cheatham I (that groundwater is subject to the doctrine of prior appropriation) and instead adopts the American rule of reasonable use pertaining to groundwater. Under this rule, a landowner may withdraw groundwater for a reasonable and beneficial use on the land from which it is taken without liability for damages to surrounding landowners, but the withdrawal of groundwater for use away from the overlying land is subject to payment of damages to injured landowners
1955
Southwest Engineering Co. v. Ernst
The Arizona Supreme Court upholds the provisions in the 1948 Groundwater Code restricting the drilling of new irrigation wells within Critical Groundwater Areas. The court rules that certain areas of the state may be managed differently, and that the additional restrictions placed on agricultural groundwater users by the 1948 Code are not in and of themselves unconstitutional
1956
Colorado River Storage Project Act
Passed by congress on April 22, 1956, this Act authorizes construction of the Glen Canyon Dam along with other facilities. The Act's purpose is to regulate the flow of the Colorado River, control floods, store water for use by the Upper Basin States consistent with the Colorado River Compact, and for the generation of hydroelectric power. The Act also creates the Upper Colorado River Basin Fund.
1963
Arizona v. California
The United States Supreme Court upholds Congress' apportionment of the Lower Basin's share of mainstream waters of the Colorado River in the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928, with California receiving 4.4 MAF, Arizona 2.8 MAF and Nevada 0.3 MAF. In a major victory for Arizona, the Court holds that the waters apportioned to each state by the Act include only waters of the mainstream of the Colorado River, leaving to each state its own tributaries. The Court also holds that the Act gives the Secretary of the Interior broad discretion to determine how much water each state should receive during times of shortage, with some limitations. Finally, the Court holds that several Indian reservations near the Colorado River have reserved rights to water from the river in an amount sufficient to allow the irrigation of all practicably irrigable acreage on the reservations, and that other federal establishments, such as National Recreation Areas and National Forests, also have federal reserved water rights.
1966
Glen Canyon Dam is completed
Construction of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River north of Page, Arizona is completed. The purpose of the dam is to regulate the flow of Colorado River, control floods, store water for use by the Upper Basin States consistent with the Colorado River Compact, and for the generation of hydroelectric power. The reservoir created by the dam is Lake Powell.
1968
Colorado River Basin Project Act
Passed by Congress on September 30, 1968, this Act authorizes the construction of the Central Arizona Project. The Act contains a provision that safeguards California's 4.4 MAF entitlement, stating that in times of shortage this full amount will be delivered before any water is provided for the CAP. The stated legislative purpose of the Act calls for "furnishing irrigation water and municipal water supplies to the water-deficient areas of Arizona and western New Mexico …"
1969
Jarvis v. State Land Department I
The Arizona Supreme Court affirms the superior court's issuance of an injunction prohibiting the City of Tucson from transporting groundwater to the City from wells in a Critical Groundwater Area outside the City. The court notes that the American rule of reasonable use provides that a person may not convey groundwater off the land if it will cause damage to other lands and further notes that this is a rule of property. The court finds that transporting groundwater away from a Critical Groundwater Area would necessarily cause damage to lands within the area and that an injunction is appropriate because damages would not adequately compensate the injured landowners
1970
Jarvis v. State Land Department II
Relying on a surface water statute that gives preference to domestic and municipal uses over agricultural uses, the Arizona Supreme Court states that it will modify the injunction issued in Jarvis v. State Land Department I to allow the City of Tucson to acquire cultivated lands within the Critical Groundwater Area outside the City, retire the lands from irrigation and transport to the City for municipal use an amount of groundwater equal to the "annual historical maximum use" on the lands. The court later holds that "annual historical maximum use" means the average of the annual maximum amount of groundwater consumptively used on the land for irrigation purposes.
1973
Construction of the CAP Canal begins at Lake Havasu City
 
1974
Water Rights Registration Act
The legislature enacts legislation requiring persons using, or claiming the right to use, surface water before June 12, 1919 to file a claim with the state. The Act provides that failure to file by a specified date will result in a waiver and relinquishment of any right, title or interest in the water. This Act triggers several water users throughout Arizona to request a determination of water rights in the Gila River and Little Colorado River watersheds. These actions eventually are combined into the Gila River Adjudication in the Maricopa County Superior Court and the Little Colorado River Adjudication in the Apache County Superior Court. The Act is later amended to require persons using, or claiming the right to use, surface water before March 7, 1995 to file a claim with the State
1976
Farmer’s Investment Company (FICO) v. Bettwy
The Arizona Supreme Court enjoins a mining company and the City of Tucson from transporting groundwater away from lands within a Critical Groundwater Area for use on lands outside the Critical Groundwater Area but within the same groundwater basin. The court holds that under the reasonable use doctrine, water may not be pumped from one parcel for use on another parcel if other lands will suffer injury or damage as a result, even though the two parcels overlie a common source of supply. The injunction is never enforced, however, as agricultural, mining and municipal interests soon begin negotiations on a legislative solution to groundwater transportation issues
1977
Amendments to the 1948 Groundwater Code
As a result of negotiations between agricultural, mining and municipal interests following the FICO decision, the legislature amends the 1948 Groundwater Code to allow all existing groundwater transportations to continue and to allow new or increased transportations under certain conditions. In most cases, groundwater transportation is subject to payment of damages to injured landowners, and injury is conclusively presumed if groundwater is transported way from a Critical Groundwater Area. Cities, towns, private water companies and irrigation districts are allowed to transport groundwater within their service areas without payment of damages. A 25-member Groundwater Study Commission is established and charged with developing a new Groundwater Code to address groundwater transportation and reduce groundwater overdraft occurring in parts of the state.
1977
Stockpond Water Rights Registration Act
The legislature enacts legislation requiring an owner of a stockpond with a capacity of 15 acre-feet of less, that is used solely for livestock or wildlife, and that was constructed after June 12, 1919 and before August 27, 1977 to file a claim in order to obtain a valid water right with a priority date as of the date of construction. Failure to file a timely claim results in a priority date as of the date of the filing
1977
Federal Budget Cuts
President Carter announces that the Central Arizona Project is among several Federal projects whose funding will be cut, but later removes the CAP from this "hit list".
1979
Groundwater Study Commission releases its Draft Report of Tentative Recommendations
 
1979
Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus
iwarns that the Central Arizona Project will not be funded unless the State passes a Groundwater Code.
1980
Groundwater Management Act is adopted
Passed by the legislature on June 11, 1980 and signed into law by Governor Babbitt the next day, this Act implements the final recommendations of the Groundwater Study Commission. The Act establishes the Arizona Department of Water Resources to administer the provisions of the Act. Four Active Management Areas are created with management goals and requirements to address groundwater overdraft. Within Active Management Areas, irrigation of new agricultural land is prohibited, withdrawals of groundwater for new industrial uses require a permit, restrictions are imposed on drilling new large wells, and new subdivisions must demonstrate a 100-year assured water supply that is consistent with the Active Management Area's management goal. The Arizona Department of Water Resources is required to adopt a series of five Management Plans for each Active Management Area, including mandatory conservation requirements for persons withdrawing, distributing or using groundwater. Groundwater may be transported without payment of damages within the sub-basin of an Active Management Area or groundwater basin, and anywhere within an Active Management Area or groundwater basin that does not contain sub-basins. Groundwater may be transported between sub-basins of an AMA or groundwater basin and away from a groundwater basin subject to payment of damages to injured landowners. There is no presumption of injury associated with the transportation of groundwater.
1980
Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus
informs Governor Babbitt that Arizona's enactment of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act will allow the Central Arizona Project to be funded.
1981
Town of Chino Valley v. City of Prescott
The Arizona Supreme Court upholds the provisions of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act allowing groundwater to be transported within the sub-basin of an Active Management Area without payment of damages to injured landowners. The court rejects the plaintiffs' argument that landowners have a property right to the groundwater under their land that cannot be diminished without due process of law and without just compensation. The court states that "there is no right of ownership of groundwater in Arizona prior to its capture and withdrawal from the common supply and … the right of the owner of the overlying land is simply to the usufruct of the water." The court further holds that the legislature may enact laws regulating groundwater use under its police powers
1982
Cherry v. Steiner
The United States District Court holds that the provisions of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act restricting groundwater withdrawals from lands within Active Management Areas do not take property without due process of law. The court relies on the Arizona Supreme Court's holding in Town of Chino Valley v. City of Prescott that landowners have no property interest in the groundwater beneath their land prior to its capture and withdrawal. The court also upholds the legislature's designation of certain areas of the state as Active Management Areas.
1984 & 1985
First Management Plans are adopted
The first of the five Management Plans called for by the Groundwater Management Act are adopted by the Arizona Department of Water Resources for the Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott and Tucson Active Management Areas
1984 & 1985
The Central Arizona Project
begins deliveries of water to Central Arizona.
1986
The Lakes Bill
The legislature enacts the Lakes Bill, which prohibits the construction of new bodies of water used primarily for landscape, scenic or recreational purposes and larger than 12,320 square feet within Active Management Areas. There are several exceptions to the prohibition, including bodies of water filled entirely with effluent and bodies of water located in recreational facilities open to the public and owned or operated by a governmental entity
1986
Underground Water Storage Act
The legislature enacts laws allowing water to be stored underground and recovered later through recovery wells. The water recovered may be used in the same manner in which it was permissible to use the water before it was stored
1989
Second Management Plans are adopted
The Arizona Department of Water Resources adopts the second of the five Management Plans for the Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott and Tucson Active Management Areas as called for by the Groundwater Management Act
1989
Arizona Public Service Company v. Long
The Arizona Supreme Court holds that effluent (treated municipal wastewater) is neither groundwater nor surface water and therefore is not subject to the groundwater or surface water laws. The court further holds that although effluent is neither groundwater nor surface water, it is water, and therefore must be put to a beneficial use. Additionally, the court notes that although the legislature has not regulated the use of effluent, it may do so in the future
1990
Indirect Groundwater Storage
The legislature amends the Underground Water Storage laws to allow an entity to receive groundwater storage credits for delivering effluent or Colorado River water to a groundwater user who eliminates or reduces its use of groundwater
1991
Restrictions on transporting groundwater to Active Management Areas
The legislature amends the groundwater transportation laws to prohibit the transportation of groundwater from areas outside of Active Management Areas to Active Management Areas, with several exceptions. The exceptions allow certain entities to transport groundwater from the McMullen Valley groundwater basin to the Phoenix Active Management Area, from the Big Chino sub-basin of the Verde River groundwater basin to the Prescott Active Management Area, and from the Butler Valley groundwater basin and the Harquahala Irrigation Non-Expansion Area to any initial Active Management Area
1992
Water Exchange Legislation
The Arizona legislature enacts legislation authorizing water exchanges. A person participating in a water exchange must have the right to use the water given in the exchange and may use the water received in the exchange only in the same manner in which the person has the right to use the water given in the exchange, but the person need not have a right to use the water received in the exchange. Water exchanges involving surface water, other than Colorado River water, require a permit from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. Most other water exchanges require the filing of a notice with the Department.
1993
Restrictions on transporting groundwater outside of Active Management Areas
The legislature amends the groundwater transportation laws to prohibit most new transportations of groundwater between groundwater basins outside of Active Management Areas
1993
Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District
The legislature amends the laws governing the Central Arizona Water Conservation District to provide that the District shall serve as a groundwater replenishment entity for member lands and member service areas within the District (when performing this function, the District is known as the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District, or "CAGRD"). The CAGRD assists its members in obtaining determinations of assured water supply by agreeing to replenish groundwater used by a member in excess of the amount determined by ADWR to be consistent with the Active Management Area's management goal
1994
Underground Water Storage, Savings and Replenishment Act
The legislature repeals previous enactments and consolidates all underground water storage programs into a unified program
1994
Water Protection Fund
The legislature establishes the Water Protection Fund. The fund is administered by a commission which issues grants from the fund to water users for implementing projects to protect Arizona rivers and streams, including the use of excess CAP water for riparian enhancement.
1995
Assured and Adequate Water Supply Rules
The Arizona Department of Water Resources' rules establishing criteria for demonstrating an assured or adequate water supply become effective. The rules require that an applicant for a certificate or designation of assured water supply in an Active Management Area demonstrate that the use will be served primarily with renewable water supplies.
1995
Santa Cruz Active Management Area is established
The Santa Cruz Active Management Area is established from a portion of the Tucson Active Management Area
1996
Arizona Water Banking Authority
The Arizona Water Banking Authority is established as a mechanism for Arizona to fully utilize its CAP allotment. The Water Bank may annually purchase all or part of the state's unused CAP allotment and store it underground for times of shortage. The legislation also allows the Water Bank to store Colorado River water on behalf of agencies in Nevada and California.
1999
Third Management Plans are adopted
The Arizona Department of Water Resources adopts the third of the five Management Plans for the Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott, Santa Cruz and Tucson Active Management Areas as called for by the Groundwater Management Act
1999
The Secretary of the Interior adopts regulations providing for Offstream Storage of Colorado River Water and Development and Release of Intentionally Created Unused Apportionment in the Lower Division States, which enables interstate water banking in the Lower Colorado River Basin.
1999
In re the General Adjudication of all Rights to Use Water in the Gila River System and Source (Gila III)
The Arizona Supreme Court holds that federal reserved water rights for federal reservations (Indian and non-Indian) include not only surface water but also groundwater to the extent that surface water supplies are inadequate to accomplish the purpose for which the reservation was created
2000
Governor’s Water Management Commission
Governor Jane Dee Hull announces the formation of the Governor’s Water Management Commission
2000
In re the General Adjudication of all Rights to Use Water in the Gila River System and Source (Gila IV)
The Arizona Supreme Court affirms the trial court's determination that the subflow zone within the San Pedro River watershed is the saturated floodplain Holocene alluvium. There is a rebuttable presumption that wells located within the subflow zone and wells whose cones of depression extend into the subflow zone are pumping appropriable subflow, and such wells are therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the adjudication court. ADWR will determine the extent of the saturated floodplain Holocene alluvium and conduct cone of depression tests
2001
Colorado River Interim Surplus Guidelines
The United States Bureau of Reclamation adopts guidelines defining the conditions for declaration and implementation of surplus conditions in the Lower Basin of the Colorado River
2001
Agreement for Interstate Water Banking
The Arizona Water Banking Authority, the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Colorado River Commission of Nevada reach an agreement allowing the storage of Colorado River water in Arizona for future uses in Nevada
2001
In re the General Adjudication of all Rights to Use Water in the Gila River System and Source (Gila V)
The Arizona Supreme Court rejects the “practicably irrigable acreage” standard as the exclusive standard for quantifying federal reserved water rights for Indian reservations. Instead, the court holds that an Indian reservation should be allocated the quantity of water necessary to achieve its purpose as a permanent homeland for the Indian tribe, which may include water for multiple present and future uses.
2003
Governor’s Drought Task Force
Arizona adopts its first Drought Plan
2004
Arizona Water Settlement Act
Through this Act, Congress approves an agreement between the United States and the State of Arizona for Central Arizona Project repayment obligations. The Act also settles the water rights claims of the Gila River Indian Community and the claims of the Tohono O'odham Nation for its San Xavier reservation near Tucson, and reallocates 67,300 acre-feet of Non-Indian Agricultural priority CAP water to the Secretary of the Interior for use in future Indian water rights settlements in Arizona.
2005
Community Water System planning and reporting requirements
The legislature enacts legislation requiring community water systems (public water systems that provide water service to at least fifteen service connections or twenty-five year-round residents) to prepare a water supply plan, a drought preparedness plan and a water conservation plan every five years and submit the plans to the Arizona Department of Water Resources. The legislation also requires community water systems to submit annual water use reports to the Department
2006
Phelps Dodge v. Arizona Department of Water Resources
The Arizona Court of Appeals holds that the Arizona Department of Water Resources has authority to issue permits to appropriate water for instream flows, even though such an appropriation does not involve physical diversion of water
2007
Mandatory water adequacy legislation
The legislature enacts legislation authorizing counties and cities to adopt an ordinance requiring new subdivisions outside of Active Management Areas to demonstrate a 100-year adequate water supply before obtaining plat approval or receiving a public report from the Arizona Department of Real Estate
2007
Agreement Concerning Colorado River Management and Operations
The Seven Colorado River Basin States join together to sign an agreement regarding Colorado River management for an interim period (until 2026). As part of the Seven States’ Agreement, the States jointly submit a proposal for Colorado River operations, which is ultimately adopted by the Secretary of the Interior
2007
Record of Decision on Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead
The Bureau of Reclamation adopts guidelines that provide for coordinated management of Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Releases from Lake Powell are determined by conditions in both reservoirs. The Interim Guidelines incorporate, and in some cases modify, the Interim Surplus Guidelines, define shortage conditions in the Lower Basin, allow for the creation of Intentionally Created Surplus (ICS) through conservation and augmentation projects, and provide for delivery of ICS subject to forbearance by the Lower Basin Contractors. The Interim Guidelines will remain in effect until 2026.