[IN-DEPTH] CAP-California water deal that Arizona nixed provokes ongoing conflict

By Tony Davis | Arizona Daily Star

A proposed 2015 sale of Arizona water to California that never happened is now a flash point in a controversy pitting Arizona’s top water agency against the Central Arizona Project.

A newly disclosed memo from that year, written by a CAP attorney, characterized the proposal as a sale of some of Arizona’s Colorado River water to the giant, six-county Metropolitan Water District in Southern California. Such a sale would be controversial in Arizona, given the longstanding adversarial relationship over water between the two states.

The deal would have allowed the “Met” to store or use 60,000 acre-feet of Arizona’s Colorado River water for about $17 million in payments to CAP and a promise to return that water later to CAP, which serves drinking water to Tucson and Phoenix.


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