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BY: AMWUA Staff

Education Guide to Inform Voters and Raise Awareness on the CAP Board Election

Published Oct 04, 2022

As we prepare to cast our votes this November, one race you will see included on your ballot that will impact you and one of our key water supplies is the election of five new members to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board of Directors. We know most voters are unfamiliar with this election and the critical role of the CAWCD Board in Arizona water.

To raise awareness about this important election, AMWUA partnered with the Arizona State University (ASU) Kyl Center for Water Policy and the Arizona Hydrological Society (AHS) to create the 2022 Maricopa County CAWCD Board Election Voter Education Guide . Each of the 14 candidates was given an opportunity to answer six questions. This voter guide includes the answers of each candidate who responded so voters can be better informed on their decision. While it may not be a high-profile race, it is important to take the time to get to know the candidates.

The CAWCD Board of Directors oversees the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, which is the official legal name of the Central Arizona Project (CAP). This 336-mile canal delivers Colorado River water from Lake Havasu to the Valley, including the ten AMWUA cities, and down to Tucson. The CAWCD Board is responsible for operating and maintaining the 30-plus-year-old CAP canal and for repaying the federal government for the construction of the CAP. The CAWCD Board sets water rates charged to CAP customers for delivery of Colorado River water. These customers include water providers throughout Maricopa County. The Board also establishes policies to protect the CAP system and the water it delivers.

The CAWCD Board also has the authority to levy no more than 14 cents in property taxes for Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties. These taxes are used primarily to repay the Federal government for constructing the CAP canal and operating and maintaining the CAP system as it ages. This is a nominal amount for the long-term benefits that the CAP provides to Central and Southern Arizona. 

The Colorado River is a key water source for Maricopa County that CAP delivers to the Valley cities and other municipal water providers, tribes, industry, and agriculture. “Conservation” is included in CAWCD’s name because the delivery of Colorado River water allows for groundwater to be conserved in Arizona’s population centers. Now, the CAWCD Board will have less Colorado River water to deliver while still operating and maintaining an aging CAP system. This must be done while working to meet the needs of its customers, deal with rising energy costs to move water uphill along the 336-mile canal, and meet the replenishment obligations of the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD).

The CAWCD Board is a 15-member non-partisan board with ten elected from Maricopa County, four elected from Pima County, and one from Pinal County. This year, only five seats in Maricopa County will be elected to six-year terms on November 8, 2022.

The CAWCD Board will make important decisions impacting your future and Arizona’s. It is vital to have Board members who are active and engaged in all issues facing CAWCD and committed to the wise management of the CAP system. Therefore, every voter must make an educated decision on who will sit on the CAWCD Board for the next six years. Please take time to review this 2022 Maricopa County CAWCD Board Election Voter Education Guide . Please share the Guide and what you learned with family, friends, and co-workers, so they understand the importance of the CAWCD Board election.

For more information on the role of the CAWCD Board and its current activities, visit the Board page  on the CAP website.

To print or save this week's blog, a PDF version is available HERE

For over 50 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities' ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information, visit www.amwua.org .