In CY 2012, Tucson Water met more than 90% of its potable demand with recovered CAP water. More than 70% of the potable water pumped by Tucson Water came from the Clearwater Renewable Resource Facility. At this facility, Colorado River water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP water) is delivered to constructed basins on City-owned property in Avra Valley. The water is recharged (allowed to sink into the ground) and mixes with the native groundwater beneath the facility. Production wells recover the blended water, which is delivered to customers in Tucson Water's main system.
In CY 2012, Tucson Water recharged its full allotment of just over 144,000 AF of CAP water at Clearwater and other recharge facilities. Through CY 2012, Tucson Water has recharged more than one million AF of CAP water since recharge activities began in 1996. The Arizona Water Banking Authority has stored an additional 172,000 AF in Tucson Water storage facilities through CY 2012 to help ensure Tucson's ability to access CAP water in times of canal shutdown or Colorado River shortages.
Since the mid-1980s, Tucson Water has operated separate Reclaimed Water production, storage and delivery system. Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been initially treated by Pima County and is further filtered and disinfected by Tucson Water to provide water of sufficient quality to use for irrigation and other non-potable applications. The reclaimed system consists of more than 160 miles of mains and five major reservoirs, and serves more than 900 sites, including 18 golf courses, 50 parks, 65 schools (including the University of Arizona and Pima Community College), and more than 700 single family homes. In CY 2012, Tucson Water delivered approximately 12,500 AF of reclaimed water (approximately 10% of all water deliveries) in its service area. Another 3,600 AF was produced for delivery to other water service areas and users.
As a public water provider, Tucson Water is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. All drinking water must meet standards set by the U.S. EPA, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and local ordinance.