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Statewide Planning

Statewide Planning Division


To formulate plans and develop programs for the practical and economical development, management, conservation and use of water in Arizona. (See A.R.S. §45-105).



The Statewide Planning Division:

  • Investigates water supplies and demands throughout the state;
  • Publishes water resources information;
  • Assists communities with long-term water resources planning, drought and emergency planning and water conservation;
  • Advises, consults and cooperates with the Secretary of the Interior on matters related to the Colorado River and Arizona's water rights;
  • Confers with other Colorado River Basin States regarding the 1922 Colorado River Compact rights;
  • Provides technical water resources investigations to Superior Court in the general adjudication of appropriable water rights;
  • Provides technical support to the Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission.

The Statewide Planning Division consists of the following sections: Adjudications and Planning Support (Adjudications Administrative Support unit, Technical Support unit, Cartography unit, and Field Services unit); Colorado River Management, Community Water Planning (Conservation and Drought); Regional Strategic Planning (Rural Programs); Statewide Water Advisory Group (SWAG); Resources Assessment Planning (Water Atlas); and the Arizona Water Protection Fund.

Lg Water Drop Colorado River Management  

The Colorado River Management Section represents the State of Arizona in policy negotiations associated with Colorado River operations and administration of entitlements.  This section provides technical assistance, makes water entitlement recommendations and conducts water resources investigations in cooperation with the Department of the Interior, which is the governing entity for the Colorado River.  ADWR confers with urban, agricultural, tribal, international and environmental water interests regarding River issues.  The primary mission for ADWR is to protect the long-term availability of Arizona’s Colorado River water supplies.

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Lg Water Drop  Community Water Planning  (Click on appropriate link below)  

- Conservation (Click on link)
Arizonans have benefited from many years of wise water resource management. Efficient use of water is a responsibility for all Arizonans and the Arizona Department of Water Resources is committed to working with local communities to assess conservation needs and assist in the development of new programs, promote water education throughout the state, create guidelines for more efficient use of water, provide suggestions for funding and implement conservation programs.


- Drought (Click on link)
All areas of the world experience natural cycles of drought. However, Arizona is especially sensitive to drought impacts. Because Arizona is an arid state, water is scarce here even during years of above-average precipitation, and population growth continues to increase our demand for water. The future of the state will depend on the wise water management choices we make today.

Water Drop Ripple


storm clouds

Lg Water Drop Regional Strategic Planning (Rural Watershed Initiative)  

The Department has provided substantial planning assistance to rural areas with expanding populations, limited groundwater resources and unique environmental features. The Department has assisted citizen organizations and local governments by providing technical information, water investigation reports and advice on water issues.

As part of the Regional Strategic Planning effort, the Statewide Water Advisory Group (SWAG) was formed to discuss programs needed to develop a reliable water supply for the future. The purpose of the Advisory Group is to advise the Arizona Department of Water Resources (Department) regarding programs for water resources development and management that are needed to provide a reliable future water supply throughout Arizona.


Lg Water Drop Water Resources Assessment Section  

The Arizona Water Atlas is organized into seven Planning Areas which contain a total of 51 Groundwater Basins. Each planning area is discussed in a separate volume. The introductory volume is an executive summary and a companion report to each of the planning area volumes and the final volume provides a water sustainability evaluation for each basin and planning area. Planning Areas include: Eastern Plateau, Southeastern Arizona, Upper Colorado River, Central Highlands, Western Plateau, Lower Colorado River and the Active Management Areas. The Atlas includes comprehensive water resources information throughout the state for planning and resource development purposes.

Water Atlas image
Lg Water Drop Arizona Water Protection Fund  

In 1994, the Arizona legislature created a Water Protection Fund administered by a 15-member Commission. The Water Protection Fund, which is administered by the director of ADWR and the State Land Commissioner, is earmarked for supporting projects that will enhance riparian areas. The authorizing legislation calls for "a coordinated effort for the restoration and conservation of the water resources of this state. This policy is designed to allow the people of this state to prosper while protecting and restoring this states' rivers and streams and associated riparian habitats, including fish and wildlife resources that are dependent on these important habitats."

AWPF pics


Other Links


Contact Us:

Rodney Held, Deputy Assistant Director

Rich Burtell, Manager, Adjudications & Planning Support Section

Perri Benemelis, Manager, Colorado River Management

Susan Craig, Manager, Community Water System Section

Tom Whitmer, Manager, Regional Strategic Planning

Linda Stitzer, Manager, Water Resources Assessment Section

Rodney Held, Executive Director, Arizona Water Protection Fund

Nannette Flores, Administrative Assistant

Phone:  (602) 771-8523

Fax:  (602) 771-8681

E-Mail: [email protected]