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Roosevelt Water Conservation District

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Image of Canal
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.

About Roosevelt Water Conservation District


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. For 2010, RWCD has negotiated cost sharing agreements with Active Resource Management (1,000 AF), the City of Chandler (20,000 AF), the Town of Gilbert (20,000 AF), the US Bureau of Reclamation (3,000 AF), and the Vidler Water Co. (2,100 AF) 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. Through January 1, 2009, Chandler and Gilbert paid RWCD for the minimum annual rate per acre charge for the urban lands located within both the RWCD and the Gilbert and the Chandler service areas. Beginning in September 2009, RWCD resumed collecting a tax levy from all of its landowners through the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office instead of collecting a minimum annual rate per acre charge from Chandler and Gilbert.