The Southern Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project (SAVSARP) is located near Sandario and Snyder Hill Roads. The City of Tucson purchased this land in the 1970s and initially used it as a well field.
SAVSARP is a sister project to the Central Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project (CAVSARP), only a few miles to the north. After CAVSARP reached full operation, Tucson Water explored the idea of constructing another facility in the area in order to fully utilize Tucson’s allocation of Colorado River water. A geologic investigation determined that a paleochannel, or ancient streambed, exists under the current land surface south of CAVSARP. This paleochannel is an ideal location to recharge and store large amounts of water.
The nine SAVSARP recharge basins (totaling 226 acres) were laid out to follow the curve of the natural paleochannel and maximize recharge potential. This is why the project looks different from CAVSARP, which was laid out in a grid.