A water-sharing agreement will allow Tucson to store more than a billion gallons of Phoenix’s share of Central Arizona Project water. That's enough to serve 17,000 homes in Phoenix each year.
The agreement among municipal Arizona water providers was announced yesterday at a water summit in Washington, D.C. The White House Water Summit, held in conjunction with United Nations World Water Day, focused on the country’s water issues and potential solutions using innovative science and technology.
One highlight of the summit was the Tucson, Phoenix, and Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District’s water exchange agreement. Tucson Water Director Timothy Thomure and Phoenix Water Services Director Kathryn Sorensen represented their respective cities at the summit.
Under a 2014 pilot program, Phoenix stores some of its unused Colorado River water in Tucson aquifers — water that Phoenix otherwise would lose to another water user — while recharging our local groundwater levels. During future shortages on the Colorado River, the City of Tucson and Metro Water would pump the stored water out of their aquifers and deliver it to their customers. In exchange, both water providers in Tucson would send part of their Colorado River water for delivery to Phoenix water treatment plants.