Arizona Department of Water Resources
2007 Legislative Package
1. SB 1557 – “water; municipal conservation requirements”
Primary Sponsor: Senator Flake
Summary : For particular municipal water providers located within Active Management Areas (AMAs), this bill increases water use efficiency through the adoption of Best Management Practices (BMPs).
- Requires providers that fall under the program to submit to ADWR a “Provider Profile.”
- Requires adoption of a specific number of BMPs based on the provider’s total number of service connections (residential and non-residential) and that are consistent with the provider’s profile.
- ADWR will conduct periodic evaluation of BMPs and overall program effectiveness.
- Requires private municipal water providers to comply with this performance based program.
- Required for all large municipal water providers that have not obtained a Designation of Assured Water Supply.
- Optional for large municipal water providers having a Designation of Assured Water Supply.
2. SB 1182 – “Summerhaven fire; assured water supply”
Primary Sponsor: Senate President Bee
Summary: Extends the Summerhaven community’s existing waiver from the Assured Water Supply requirements on the condition that all subsequent home purchasers are notified that there has not been a determination by ADWR of an Assured Water Supply.
- Summerhaven is a community on Mount Lemmon, north of the Tucson metro area that was platted prior to 1973.
- Pre-1973 subdivisions are exempt (or “grandfathered”) from the Assured and Adequate Water Supply statutes, which were initiated by the Adequacy law in 1973.
- Summerhaven was almost completely destroyed as a result of the Aspen Fire in July 2003 and residents are trying to redevelop the town center – the location of the original plat. Filing a new plat triggers the Assured Water Supply requirements.
- The proposal will not result in a significant increase in water demand and has no additional impacts to the existing water management conditions in that area.
3. HB 2488 – “Drought Emergency Groundwater Transfers”
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Mason
Summary: This is a one-year session law that has been adopted several times in the last decade to provide for the limited transfer of groundwater across basin boundaries for communities whose water supply is compromised as a result of the drought.
- Current law prohibits the transfer of groundwater across basin boundaries, with certain statutorily prescribed exceptions.
- In the past, communities that have run out of water have transferred water across basin boundaries. To recognize that in times of drought such transfers may be necessary, the Legislature has enacted a session law to allow inter-basin transfers, most recently Laws 2006, Chapter 97.
4. HB 2485 – “Well water; Colorado; Santa Cruz”
Primary Sponsor: Rep. Mason
Summary: This is a technical fix bill that addresses two problems:
- Prevents current statute pertaining to the notice of intent (NOI) to drill a well from being superseded when a conditionally enacted version of the same statute becomes effective sometime in the next two years, while preserving the original intent of the conditional enactment. No new law is created by this legislation.
- A conforming change that corrects a drafting oversight that occurred when the Santa Cruz Active Management Area (SCAMA) was established by statute.
5. SJR 1001/HJR 2001 – “ Lower Colorado basin; forbearance authority”
Primary Sponsors: President Bee, Sen. Arzberger, Sen. Flake; Speaker Weiers, Rep. Mason, Rep. Kirkpatrick, Rep. Sinema, Rep. Tobin, Sen. Harper
- The Secretary of the Interior, in conjunction with the seven Colorado River Basin States, is currently working on new guidelines for the coordinated management of Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the two main Colorado River reservoirs, that will create storage and release thresholds more favorable to Arizona during low reservoir conditions than the current, disputed release schedules.
- An important part of the seven States’ proposal for the Secretary’s guidelines involves the concept of “Intentionally Created Surplus” (ICS). ICS means that a water contractor may add water to the system through conservation or importation and the Secretary will release water in the future to the Lower Division State ( Arizona, California or Nevada) that added the water.
- ADWR is now negotiating a draft Forbearance Agreement with Nevada and California that will allow creation and release of ICS and domestic surplus deliveries under certain, specific conditions, by forbearance of the three States from claiming their rights to another State’s ICS or domestic surplus.
- A Joint Resolution of the Arizona State Legislature is required to authorize the ADWR Director to forbear ordering domestic surplus and the ICS created and owned by the other Basin states.
Summary: The authority to enter into certain Forbearance Agreements is vital for the future of Arizona’s water supply and for the preservation of mutual understanding and agreement on the “Law of the River” among the Colorado River states. No Arizona water user will be negatively impacted by the agreements.
- Helps to avoid water shortages in Arizona by adding new water to the Colorado River through:
- A variety of methods that may include efforts such as extraordinary conservation, capital expenditures to improve system efficiencies, tributary conservation and importation of non-Colorado River system water (these additions to mainstream water storage are known as Intentionally Created Surplus or ICS); and
- The ICS will be added to the system or stored in the system keeping the Lake Mead water elevation higher and reducing the probability of reaching the declared shortage trigger elevations; and
- Preserving stored water in Lake Mead by eliminating requests for delivery of surplus when the lake elevation is less than 1145 feet. This new limitation will keep more Colorado River water in storage and increase shortage protection for Arizona. When Lake Mead is nearly full, i.e., over 1145 feet, the States have agreed to allow certain surplus deliveries for domestic uses within the other States (Domestic Surplus).
- The new ICS water can only be used by the state that puts the water into the system (Arizona, Nevada and California all must forbear using the new ICS water created by the other states), but 5% of each contribution must remain in Lake Mead, resulting in a net increase in system water that will reduce the frequency and magnitude of Arizona’s shortages.
STATEWIDE WATER ADVISORY GROUP (SWAG) BILLS
6. HB 2693/SB 1575 – “water adequacy amendments”
Primary Sponsors: Representative Mason, Senator Arzberger
Background: Outside of the State’s Active Management Areas (AMAs), the developer of a proposed subdivision must submit plans for the subdivision’s water supply to the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and demonstrate the adequacy of the water supply. If the subdivision is unable to demonstrate an Adequate Water Supply is available, the final plat for the subdivision can still be approved by the platting authority, however, the Arizona Department of Real Estate Commissioner (ADRE) requires that all promotional material and contracts for sale of lots within the subdivision must note that the subdivision does not have an adequate water supply. This allows for homes located in subdivisions without adequate water supplies to be sold to homeowners. It should be noted that although the first person to purchase the property has to be notified of the inadequate water supply, subsequent purchasers are not required to be notified.
Summary: Provides counties and municipalities outside of Active Management Areas (AMAs) authority to require a determination of adequate water supply from ADWR for new subdivisions.
Title 11: Counties
- Provides that in order to protect the public health and safety of its citizens, the County Board of Supervisors in each county has the discretion to include in its “general regulations of uniform application governing plats and subdivision of lands”, provisions that prohibit the approval of a final plat for a subdivision outside of an AMA that has not demonstrated an Adequate Water Supply to ADWR or has not obtained a written commitment of service from a city, town, or private water company that has been Designated as having an Adequate Water Supply by ADWR.
- The County may adopt the following exemptions to its water adequacy requirement:
- Allow for the development of water supplies within a twenty year timeframe if the current supplies for the subdivision can sustain the subdivision for that period of time.
- Allow for hauling water supplies by truck or train to the subdivision.
- Requires the Board to provide immediate written notice to ADWR and ADRE if the County Board of Supervisors adopts the Adequacy provision or any of the allowable exemptions.
- Provides that the adoption of the Adequacy provision cannot be rescinded by the County at any time – although it does allow for amendments.
- Requires the County to note on the face of the plat that the subdivision has an Adequacy determination or that the Adequacy determination has been made pursuant to the exemptions provided.
Title 9: Cities & Towns
- Prohibits a municipality within a County that has adopted the Adequacy provision to approve a subdivision plat outside of an AMA unless ADWR has determined that the subdivision has demonstrated an Adequate Water Supply to ADWR or has obtained a written commitment of service from a city, town, or private water company that has been Designated as having an Adequate Water Supply by ADWR.
- Allows a municipality that is in a County that does not adopt the Adequacy provision to provide by ordinance that in order to protect the public health and safety of its citizens, the final plat of a subdivision located in the boundaries of that municipality and outside of an AMA will not be approved unless the subdivision has demonstrated an Adequate Water Supply to ADWR or has obtained a written commitment of service from a city, town, or private water company that has been Designated as having an Adequate Water Supply by ADWR. Also requires immediate written notice to the Director of ADWR and ADRE if the municipality adopts the Adequacy provision.
- Allows the municipality to adopt the same exemptions as the counties, above, and requires notification to ADWR and ADRE of such exemptions (under both scenarios, above).
- Requires the municipality to note on the face of the plat that the subdivision has an Adequacy determination or that the Adequacy determination has been made pursuant to the exemptions provided (under both scenarios, above).
Title 32: Professions & Occupations (specifically, Chapter 20 – Real Estate)
- Requires subdividers located outside of AMAs and within a County or a municipality that has adopted regulations or ordinances that requires an Adequacy determination to include in its notice to ADRE of its intention to subdivide land a report issued by ADWR stating that the subdivision has an adequate water supply unless:
- The subdivider submitted the report to the city, town or county and this has been noted on the face of the plat; or
- The subdivider has obtained a written commitment of service from a city, town, or private water company that has been Designated as having an Adequate Water Supply by ADWR; or
- The plat was approved by the city, town, or county pursuant to an allowable exemption.
- If the subdivision or timeshare property is located outside of an AMA and within a County or a municipality that has adopted regulations or ordinances that requires an Adequacy determination, requires ADRE to deny issuance of a public report for the subdivision or timeshare property unless:
1. The subdivider has provided an ADWR report of Adequacy; or
2. The subdivider has obtained a written commitment of service from a city, town, or private water company that has been Designated as having an Adequate Water Supply by ADWR; or
3. The plat was approved by the city, town or county pursuant to an allowable exemption.
Title 33. Property
- If city, town or county approves subdivision plat pursuant to the water hauling exemption:
- Subdivider must disclose in deed that ADWR has determined the water supply to be inadequate and that plat was approved pursuant to the exemption.
- Any person selling property included in the plat must make disclosure to buyer, prior to executing sales contract, that the plat was approved pursuant to the exemption unless the property is no longer served by water hauling.
Title 45: Waters
- Requires ADWR to evaluate whether there is an adequate water supply for each subdivision and to forward a copy of the Director’s report of adequacy to ADRE and the local platting entity.
- Requires the Department to notify all cities and towns in a County if the County has adopted the Adequacy provisions, outlined above.
- Defines Adequate Water Supply as groundwater, surface water or effluent that is continuously, legally and physically available and that subdivider has the financial capability to make the supply of water available for the proposed use.
- Provides for public notice, objections and administrative hearings of applications that have been filed in counties or municipalities that have adopted the adequacy provision.
7. HB 2692/SB 1577 – “water supply development revolving fund”
Primary Sponsors: Rep. Mason, Sen. Arzberger
Purpose: To assist communities in Arizona to identify and develop long-term reliable water supplies.
Summary: Creates a Water Supply Development Revolving Fund (Fund) to provide financial assistance to water providers for water supply development and a Water Supply Development Fund Committee (Committee) within the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) to evaluate applications and select projects to receive financial assistance.
- Designates the Director of Water Resources as the Chair of the Committee and identifies membership as ADEQ (vice chair), ACC, the State Treasurer and 9 governor appointed members from municipalities and counties based on population, as well as one tribal member. Each appointed position has a 5-year staggered term.
- Continuously appropriates monies to the Fund and designates the monies as non-lapsing. Sources of the Fund include monies:
- Received by the State from the Federal Government for water supply development;
- Appropriated from the State Legislature to the Fund;
- Received from the issuance and sale of water supply development bonds;
- Received from repayment, interest and penalties on loans;
- Received from interest and other income received from investing monies in the Fund; and
- Received from gifts, grants and donations received from any public or private source(s).
- Requires the WIFA Board to administer the Fund. Also requires the State Treasurer to invest and divest monies in the Fund, as directed by the Board, and to credit the Fund with monies earned from such investments.
- Allows the following uses of the Fund: loans for water supply development; loans or grants (single grants not to exceed $100,000) for planning or design of water supply development projects; purchasing or refinancing debt obligations for water supply developments at or below market rate; providing financial assistance to water providers with bonding authority to purchase insurance for local bond obligations; paying the cost to administer the Fund; and providing linked deposit guarantees through third-party lenders.
- Limits the use of the Fund to water providers who are located within a County or municipality that has adopted Adequacy requirements for new subdivisions.
- Includes procedures for application and identifies criteria to be used by the Committee for evaluating applications, including criteria to establish the priority and order of the applications for review. Clarifies that a water provider can still apply for and receive monies from the Fund even if they obtain funds from other sources (including other WIFA funds).
- Outlines the terms for use and repayment of the Water Supply Revolving Fund – terms consistent with current WIFA requirements.
- Conforms to language currently contained in the WIFA statutes related to enforcement of loan repayments, issuance of bonds, bond obligations, certification of bonds, bonds as legal investments, and agreement of the state not to limit or alter the rights of the WIFA or its successor to collect sufficient revenue to fulfill the terms of any outstanding agreements.
- Includes a session law making the enactment of this legislation conditioned on the enactment of the water adequacy legislation.
8. HB 2484/SB 1638 – “well impacts; contamination”
Primary Sponsors: Rep. Mason, Sen. Arzberger
Summary: Prohibits the drilling of a well if the well will likely cause the migration of contaminated groundwater from a remedial action site to another well. This prohibition currently exists in rules that apply to non-exempt wells within Active Management Areas (AMAs). HB 2484/SB1638 extends the prohibition by statute to all wells outside of AMAs and exempt wells within AMAs.
The Arizona Department of Water Resources’ (ADWR) Well Spacing Rules adopted in 2006 require that most proposed new non-exempt wells within AMAs (wells pumping in excess of 35 gallons per minute) must demonstrate that they will not cause unreasonably increasing damage to an existing well of record. This includes the migration of poor quality groundwater into the well caused by the proposed pumping of the new well. The current requirement does not apply to exempt wells and wells outside of AMAs.
- Requires the Director to deny a Notice of Intent (NOI) to drill a new well (including all wells outside of AMAs, non-exempt wells, and exempt wells inside of AMAs) if the Director determines that the proposed well will likely cause the migration of contaminated groundwater from a remedial action site into an existing well resulting in unreasonably increasing damage to the well owner or persons using water from the well.
- Requires the Director to follow the criteria in the Well Spacing Rules and consult with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in making the determination.
- Defines “Contaminated Groundwater” as groundwater that has been contaminated by a hazardous substance as defined in Title 49.
- Defines “Remedial Action Site” to include CERCLA, LUST, WQARF, RCRA, and DOD* sites and sites of voluntary remedial actions.
- Clarifies that the provision does not apply to deepening of an existing well or to replacement wells in approximately the same location as defined by ADWR Well Spacing Rules.
- Removes outdated language for fees for applications filed prior to July 1, 2005.
- Clarify that the definition of “contaminated groundwater” includes a “pollutant as defined in section 49-201.”
- Modify the Licensing Timeframe (LTF) for wells that fall under this review from 15 days to 45 days.
* CERLA means Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (also known as the “Superfund”; LUST means leaking underground storage tank sites; WQARF means water quality assurance revolving fund sites; RCRA means Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and DOD means Department of Defense Environmental Restoration Program, or “Department of Defense site”. See Title 49.
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