Clearwater Renewable Resource Facility

toddler drinking from fountain

Colorado River water is considered a renewable resource. Usng Colorado River water allows Tucson to preserve our finite groundwater supplies.

Tucson utilizes most of its allocation of Colorado River water through the Clearwater Renewable Resource Facility which consists of the Clearwell Reservoir and two major aquifer storage and recovery projects: the Central Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project (CAVSARP) and the Southern Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project (SAVSARP).

Tucson’s allocation of Colorado River water is delivered to Tucson via the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal. That Colorado River water is allowed to sink into the ground and recharge the aquifer in Avra Valley at CAVSARP and SAVSARP where it is stored for future use. Then it is pumped to the surface and held in the Clearwell Reservoir before it is delivered to Tucson Water’s customers.

The Clearwell Reservoir is the largest and one of the most critical reservoirs in Tucson Water’s delivery system. It is located near Starr Pass Resort on the west side of Tucson. It holds a volume of 60 million gallons between two separate cells of 30 million gallons each.

Clearwell Cell #1 was taken out of service during the winter of 2016-2017 to undergo a major reconstruction. This rehabilitation project was completed in May 2017 at which time Cell #1 was put back into service. Clearwater Cell #2 will undergo a similar rehabilitation during the winter of 2017-2018.


For more information, watch the video below or read the media release pdf and the followup pdf from the event celebrating the one-millionth acre foot of Colorado River water recharged at the facility.