Interstate water storage deals violated state law, former Arizona water chiefs say

By Tony Davis Arizona Daily Star

wo former Arizona water directors told the State Auditor General’s Office last year that the agency that runs the Central Arizona Project exceeded its authority under state law.

he former directors, Rita Maguire and Herb Guenther, said recently that they told state auditors the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) legally overstepped its bounds.

The district did so, they said, by negotiating two rounds of water-storage deals with Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and a Nevada water agency in the 1990s and a third deal with the Southern California district in 2015.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) wasn’t informed of these deals until they had either been approved or until negotiations were far along, Maguire told the Star, adding that she’s concerned about this deal setting a precedent for future Colorado River users to ink similar deals on their own.

Hoover Dam holds Colorado River water to form Lake Mead, which supplies water to California, Nevada and Arizona./Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times 2015

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