Water management and supply reliability

SRP has invested in a variety of strategies to ensure the long-term reliability of both its customers' water supply and the Salt and Verde rivers' annual flows.

Efforts in metropolitan Phoenix include the operation of two projects where Central Arizona Project and reclaimed water is stored in aquifers (essentially giant underground reservoirs) both to replace groundwater pumped across the region and to create reserve supplies for future need.

This diagram shows how GRUSP works

Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe partner with SRP in these water storage projects as part of an overall regional goal to use and manage water more responsibly in Maricopa County.

Canal lining projects, meanwhile, also help to ensure that SRP maximizes use of water from groundwater wells and the Salt and Verde rivers. The concrete lining prevents water from seeping into the ground before it's delivered, thus reducing demand on those supplies. Other technology projects, including automated delivery systems, also help SRP use its water supplies more efficiently.

SRP is also working extensively with communities across the Verde Valley on a series of initiatives designed to protect the long term flows of the Salt and Verde rivers. These include:

  • Water monitoring projects: The Big Chino monitoring program monitors and models water in the Big Chino aquifer to ensure the health of the Verde River headwaters. This work helps water users in the Verde Valley and further downstream by providing greater long-term water certainty while providing Prescott and Prescott Valley with access to groundwater from the Big Chino aquifer.

    Additionally, Flowtography technology is being deployed on washes, tributaries and seasonal creeks to better understand how these precipitation events impact aquifer recharge and river flows.

  • Water rights protection: Efforts to identify and document historic water use on the Verde River watershed continue, including work with ditch organizations and water users in the Verde Valley. The work envisions mutually beneficial agreements that not only protect existing water users' rights, but that can also protect future river flows.

  • Developing and enhancing new sources: The 2004 Arizona Water Settlement Act transferred ownership of C.C. Cragin Reservoir from Phelps Dodge to SRP, and the associated upgrade to the water delivery system, have created a new renewable water source for several northern Gila County communities including the town of Payson. SRP continues to seek new opportunities to work with watershed communities.

  • Partnerships: Sponsorships of regional water agencies, think tanks and water planning groups, in addition to agreements with tribal entities, are designed to foster understanding and create better state and regional partnerships to ensure reliability of water supplies across Arizona.