Recharge & Recovery
In 1986, the State Legislature established the Underground Water Storage and Recovery program to allow entities with surplus water supplies to store that water underground and recover it for use at a later time. For example, any surplus water resulting from a seasonally wet year could be stored underground to be used during a seasonally dry year. Later, in 1994, the Legislature enacted the Underground Water Storage, Savings, and Replenishment Act which further defined the recharge program.
The recharge program, administered by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), provides another tool for Arizona communities to achieve safe-yield, the balance between groundwater withdrawal and recharge, by recycling local water supplies. The City currently sends surface water supplies, in accordance with associated legal documents, and any reclaimed supplies not used for direct delivery, to the recharge facility. These recharged and recovered supplies are recognized for assured water supply purposes. The recharge facility was constructed adjacent to the City’s Airport wastewater treatment plant and the first recharge permits were issues in the early 1990s. The permits were modified in 2014 when the wastewater treatment plants were upgraded and expanded. The City’s current permits related to recharge and recovery are listed below.
- Recovery Well ADWR Permit No._74-561500.0000
- Recovery Well ADWR Permit No._74-569302.0002
- Underground Storage Facility ADWR Permit No._71-519567.0002
- Water Storage ADWR Permit No. 73-528737.0002
- Water Storage ADWR Permit No._73-519567.0002
In 2005, Prescott voters approved the Reasonable Growth Initiative (Proposition 400), which dedicated all effluent from annexation areas over 250 acres to permanent recharge. This voter-approved initiative is contained within the City Charter, November 2011, Article I Section IV.