RWCD is a municipal corporation and a political subdivision of the State.
RWCD is an irrigation district that was formed in 1920 under the laws of the State of Arizona. RWCD is a municipal corporation and a political subdivision of the State.
RWCD’s service area covers about 40,000 acres in the East Valley. Portions of the service area of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Maricopa County are located within RWCD’s service area. RWCD’s Mission is to provide irrigation water to its landowners and to protect the private property water rights of its landowners, while doing so at the lowest possible cost to its landowners.
is governed by 9 Board members that represent RWCD landowners located
within the City of Chandler, the Town of Gilbert, and the City of Mesa.
RWCD’s annual operation, maintenance, and capital improvements budget is about $7,000,000. RWCD has about 40 employees that deliver irrigation water, maintain the facilities, and administer the District.
RWCD has a Main Canal that is about 21 miles long; and, an Extension Canal that is about a 5 mile extension of SRP’s Eastern Canal. Both Canals are entirely concrete lined. RWCD delivers irrigation water to its landowners through a lateral system that is made up of about 70 miles of underground concrete pipelines and about 25 miles of concrete lined ditches.
RWCD has a Main Pumping Plant that pumps surface water from SRP’s South Canal to the head of the Main Canal. RWCD constructed a 3.5 mile underground pipeline from the CAP canal to the Main Canal to receive CAP water. RWCD has approximately 50 wells that have a capacity to pump about 85,000 AF of groundwater each year. In addition, RWCD uses industrial effluent received from SRP’s San Tan Generating Station that is located in the Town of Gilbert.
During the 1930’s, RWCD paid the costs to concrete line 31 miles of SRP’s major canals in the East Valley. During the 1980’s, RWCD paid the costs to reline the 31 miles of SRP canals. Each year RWCD pays SRP for their costs to maintain the concrete lining of such canals. As a result of reimbursing SRP for the construction and maintenance costs to concrete line their canals, RWCD receives 5.6% of the Salt River and Verde River surface waters that SRP diverts at the Granite Reef Diversion Dam. The surface waters that RWCD receives from SRP represent surface waters that would otherwise have been lost to seepage from dirt canals if RWCD had not paid the costs to line SRP canals with concrete. During an average year, RWCD can receive about 39,000 AF of surface water.
RWCD participated in the water rights settlement agreements with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Fort McDowell Indian Community, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Gila River Indian Community, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and other parties in order to settle all claims by the Indian Tribes made against RWCD landowners for Salt River and Verde River surface waters. RWCD’s participation in the water rights settlements benefited not only RWCD’s landowners but local municipalities and the State of Arizona as well.
During the early 1990’s, RWCD worked with the Arizona Legislature to enact laws that resulted in the indirect recharging of excess CAP water. In 1992, RWCD became one of the first irrigation districts to indirectly recharge excess CAP water. The indirect recharge program evolved into the current Groundwater Savings Facility Program. Through 2009, RWCD has used about 690,000 AF of excess CAP water that saved an equal amount of groundwater that RWCD would otherwise have pumped if it had not used the excess CAP water. RWCD has negotiated cost sharing agreements with the City of Chandler, the Town of Gilbert, the US Bureau of Reclamation, and the Vidler Water Co. to receive and use CAP and NCS water instead of pumping groundwater.
Chandler and Gilbert have Domestic Water Service Agreements with RWCD. Under the Agreements, Chandler and Gilbert purchase surface water from RWCD, treat the water to drinking water standards, and deliver the potable water back to their customers located within the RWCD service area.