Good Intentions, Unintended Consequences: The Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District

22 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2007  

Christopher Avery

Tucson City Attorney

Carla Consoli

Lewis & Roca LLP

Robert Glennon

University of Arizona - Rogers College of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Sharon B. Megdal

University of Arizona - Water Resources Research Center

Abstract

The 1980 Arizona Groundwater Management Act is widely celebrated as a progressive piece of legislation that attempted to halt excessive groundwater pumping. A key component of the Act was its requirement that developers demonstrate an "assured water supply" [AWS] before receiving permission to build. In the early 1990s, the legislature created an optional method for securing AWS compliance: membership in the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District [CAGRD]. This option has turned out to be far more attractive than was originally envisioned. This paper explores the good intentions but unintended consequences brought about by the CAGRD option.

As membership in CAGRD has skyrocketed, so has the CAGRD's obligation to obtain additional supplies of renewable water. From where, and at what price, CAGRD will obtain these supplies is very problematic. This article offers a set of options that would reform how CAGRD operates. Without significant change, CAGRD will find itself required to accept additional members but without access to long-term water supplies to meet it replenishment obligations.

Keywords: Water, Water Law, Trade in Water

Suggested Citation

Avery, Christopher and Consoli, Carla and Glennon, Robert and Megdal, Sharon B., Good Intentions, Unintended Consequences: The Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District. Arizona Law Review, 2007; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 07-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=965047

Christopher Avery

Tucson City Attorney ( email )

Tucson, AZ
United States

Carla Consoli

Lewis & Roca LLP ( email )

40 N. Central Avenue
Suite 1900
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Robert Glennon (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Sharon B. Megdal

University of Arizona - Water Resources Research Center ( email )

Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

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