Municipal water providers are cities, towns, or private water companies that supply water for non-irrigation uses. There are currently 310 municipal providers in Arizona’s 5 Active Management Areas. Municipal providers are categorized as one of the following:
- Large Provider- delivers more than 250 acre-feet of water per year
- Small Provider- delivers less than 250 acre-feet of water per year
- Institutional Provider- supply more than 90% of their total water deliveries to non-residential water users (prisons, hospitals, military installations, airparks)
- Large Untreated Provider- a provider that as of 1/1/1990 was serving untreated water to at least 500 persons or supplying at least 100 acre-feet per year of untreated water
Did you know?
- Municipal water use accounts for about 20% of Arizona’s water demand
- Municipal providers within the AMAs have decreased their groundwater withdrawals by 26% from 2000 to 2019
- On average, 1 acre-foot of water serves 3.5 single-family homes across all AMAs
For data related to the Municipal Program, see the AMA Data page.
Municipal conservation requirements
Large providers are regulated under one of 4 conservation programs:
Gallons Per Capita Day Program (GPCD)
Providers are assigned an annual total gallons per-capita day target that is recalculated each year based on several factors. The actual amount of water withdrawn, diverted, or received by the provider for non-irrigation use is compared to the amount allowed by its total GPCD target to determine compliance. A flexibility account allows providers to use more water than their total GPCD requirement in some years, subject to a maximum negative and positive account balance limit. This is the default program for providers with a Designation of Assured Water Supply, however they may elect to be regulated under another program.
Non-Per Capita Conservation Program (NPCCP)
This program, originally established in 1992, was modified during the Third Management Plan, and was updated for the Phoenix, Pinal, and Santa Cruz AMAs Fourth Management Plans. This program is mandatory for all large municipal providers that do not have a Designation of Assured Water Supply. Participants are required to implement a basic public education program that communicates the importance of water conservation to customers at least twice annually as well as provide free written information on water conservation to customers upon request. Providers must choose one or more additional water conservation Best Management Practices (BMPs) based on their number of service connections (combined total of residential and non-residential water service connections).
*Effective Jan 1, 2023 for providers in the Phoenix, Pinal, and Santa Cruz AMAs. Providers in the Tucson and Prescott AMAs will not have any changes in the number of BMPs required from the Third to Fourth management plan. BMPs are split into 7 categories: Public Awareness; Education and Training; Outreach Services; Physical System Evaluation and Improvements; Ordinances, Conditions of Service, Tariffs; Rebates/Incentives; Research/Innovation. Providers are required to submit a Conservation Efforts Report (CER) with their Annual Water Withdrawal and Use Report. Alternative Conservation Program (ACP) Institutional Provider Program (IPP) Municipal providers must also meet lost and unaccounted-for water limitations of not greater than 10% on an annual or 3-year-average basis for large providers or 15% for small providers. Lost and unaccounted-for water is defined as the total water from any source, withdrawn, diverted, or received in a year that enters a municipal provider’s groundwater distribution system, minus the total amount of authorized deliveries from that groundwater distribution system made by the municipal provider in that year. It includes line leakage, meter under-registration, evaporation or leakage from storage ponds or tanks, system and hydrant leaks or breaks, and illegal connections.
This program was developed to give large providers with a disproportionately increasing non-residential water use an alternative to the GPCD program. Requirements include a limitation on groundwater use, a residential GPCD, and non-residential reasonable conservation measures.
This program allows providers with primarily non-residential uses and who are unable to economically utilize non-groundwater sources to be regulated under a program that focuses on the specific institutional water-use characteristics of their service area. Providers are assigned a maximum residential GPCD requirement and specific conservation measures for non-residential uses and will also be required to comply with individual user, distribution system, and reporting requirements.
*Effective Jan 1, 2023 for providers in the Phoenix, Pinal, and Santa Cruz AMAs. Providers in the Tucson and Prescott AMAs will not have any changes in the number of BMPs required from the Third to Fourth management plan.
BMPs are split into 7 categories: Public Awareness; Education and Training; Outreach Services; Physical System Evaluation and Improvements; Ordinances, Conditions of Service, Tariffs; Rebates/Incentives; Research/Innovation.
Providers are required to submit a Conservation Efforts Report (CER) with their Annual Water Withdrawal and Use Report.
Alternative Conservation Program (ACP)
Institutional Provider Program (IPP)
Municipal providers must also meet lost and unaccounted-for water limitations of not greater than 10% on an annual or 3-year-average basis for large providers or 15% for small providers. Lost and unaccounted-for water is defined as the total water from any source, withdrawn, diverted, or received in a year that enters a municipal provider’s groundwater distribution system, minus the total amount of authorized deliveries from that groundwater distribution system made by the municipal provider in that year. It includes line leakage, meter under-registration, evaporation or leakage from storage ponds or tanks, system and hydrant leaks or breaks, and illegal connections.
4th Management Plan Provider Profile Form - For providers in the Phoenix, Pinal, or Santa Cruz AMAs
4th Management Plan Provider Profile Form - For providers in the Tucson or Prescott AMAs
Application for Water Exchange Permit
Notice of a Water Exchange Contract
Notice of Individual User Served by a Municipal Provider
Service Area Initial Notice of Intent
Service Area Procedures for Establishment
Service Area Relinquishment Form
Guidance Documents and Resources:
Water Supply Types Included in GPCD Calculation Over Time
Large Provider Excel Annual Workbook Tutorial 2021
Large Muni Annual Report Tutorial 2020
AMA Municipal Conservation Program Report 2019
AMA Conservation Programs Report 2022
FAQS for providers/reporting parties
Q: How do I request an Excel version of the Annual Water Withdrawal and Use Report?
A: Excel versions are available to large providers upon an email request to the ADWR Municipal Planner.
Q: Can I file my Annual Water Withdrawal and Use Report online?
A: Municipal Providers cannot file online unless they are filing a zero use report. We are working to add this capability to our online reporting tool.
Q: We had changes to our distribution system and/or service area. How do I submit the new GIS file/map?
A: Submit any relevant files to [email protected].
Q: How do I find out my GPCD and L&U?
A: All past GPCD and L&U notifications are available in Imaged Records. Notifications get sent out at the end of every year.
Q: What is the notification process for delivering water to a new unnoticed turf facility?
A: Municipal Providers are required to notify a turf facility of their conservation requirements prior to the commencement of service of water to the facility. The provider must identify any new turf facilities to the ADWR Industrial Planner within 90 days of commencement of delivering water.
Q: I don’t want to be responsible for complying with the Individual User conservation requirements. How do I identify a turf facility I deliver water to as an Individual User?
A: Providers need to submit a Notice of Individual User Served by a Municipal Provider form to the ADWR Industrial Planner no more than 90 days after the provider begins serving water to the facility. When the Department receives this, the turf facility will be noticed as an Individual User. After the Individual User has been noticed for a full year, they are responsible for complying with the Individual User conservation requirements.
Q: What is the process for consolidating two provider’s service areas?
A: If distribution systems are being interconnected, a notification needs to be sent to the Department in the form of a letter within 30 days after the consolidation becomes effective. A new service area map and provider profile need to be submitted. A consolidated provider that qualifies as a large municipal provider will be assigned to the GPCD Program and its components will be calculated by prorating the respective per capita component targets, populations, and water use as appropriate. A consolidated provider may apply for the NPCCP or ACP. See Chapter 5 of the Management Plans for more detailed information.
Q: How do I elect to transition from the GPCD Program to the NPCCP?
A: Section 5-104 (B) within Chapter 5 of the Third Management Plan outlines what needs to be included in the application.
Q: When is my Fifth Management Plan provider profile due?
A: An updated provider profile is due by July 1, 2024 for undesignated providers in the Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott, Tucson, and Santa Cruz AMAs, or for designated providers in those AMAs who would like to be regulated under the Non-Per Capita Conservation Program.
Q: What is the relationship between a Municipal Provider’s service area right (56-) and their Community Water System(s) (91-)?
A: Every water provider within an AMA that uses groundwater is regulated under the Groundwater Management Act and receives an AMA Municipal Provider Service Area Right (56-). In addition, every water provider in the state that serves water to at least 15 connections or 25 year-round residents is regulated under the Community Water System (CWS) program (ARS 45-341) and receives an ADWR CWS ID number (91-). This means that a water provider in an AMA that uses groundwater and serves at least 15 connections or 25 year-round residents will be regulated under both the AMA and CWS programs. However, because some of the regulations between these programs overlap (i.e. annual reports), a provider in an AMA is only required to submit an annual report under their 56- number (ARS 45-343; ARS 45-632), not their 91-. Annual Water Withdrawal and Use Reports for providers in the AMAs are due annually by March 31.
Q: How do I submit a SCADA agreement request to the Department?
A: Fill out the 'SCADA Agreement Application' found under the forms section and submit with a letter detailing this request & the wells that will be impacted. This can be mailed in or emailed to the Municipal Planner.
Q: We acquired a service area right, how do I change the ownership to my information?
A: Please submit a signed letter to the department detailing the date of acquisition and the contact information of the new owner. This can be mailed in or emailed to the Municipal Planner.
Q: We had a meter malfunction. What do we need to report to the Department?
A: A.A.C. R12-15-906 requires that any meter malfunction that lasts longer than 72 hours must be reported to the Department within 7 days of discovering the malfunction. The Meter Malfunction Form can be found under the 'Forms' section. The form can be mailed in or emailed to [email protected].
FAQS for the public
Q: Who is my water provider?
A: You can use our Community Water Systems Interactive Map to determine your water provider. Simply search by address or parcel number and the map will provide you with your water provider’s contact information.
Q: How can I view my water provider’s annual reports?
A: These documents are available to the public on our Imaged Records page. You can search for groundwater related documents using the providers right number or name.
Q: What types of water do municipal water providers use?
A: Our AMA Data page contains a dashboard that displays water use in the AMAs. You can filter the dashboard to show only the municipal sector to be able to see the quantities of groundwater, surface water, effluent, and Colorado River water that have been used over time.
Q: What are some resources to learn more about municipal water conservation?