Community Water Systems

The term Community Water System refers to any water system that serves 15 or more service connections (a.k.a. “hook-ups”) or that serves 25 or more residents. They are subject to water quality standards and more stringent reporting requirements. (See A.R.S. §§ 45-341 to 343). Community water systems are also regulated by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality whereas a typical shared well is not.

Community Water Systems are divided into two distinct categories: large and small water systems. A large water system is defined as one that serves more than 1,850 residents.

annual use water reports

In Arizona, the users of a Community Water Systems are required to prepare and submit annual water-use reports and system water plans. These reports and plans are intended to reduce Community Water Systems’ vulnerability to drought and ensure that residents are prepared to respond to drought or water shortages.

The information submitted to the Arizona Department of Water Resources also allows the State to provide regional assistance for drought planning, mitigation and response. That information submitted to the ADWR includes:

  • Information on water pumped or diverted, water received, water delivered to customers, and effluent used or received.
  • The system water plan, which should be updated and submitted every five years and should consist of three plans:
    1. Water Supply Plan– This plan describes the service area, transmission facilities, monthly system production data, historical demand for the past five years, and projected demands for the next five, 10 and 20 years. 
    2. Drought Preparedness Plan– This plan includes drought and emergency response strategies, a plan of action to respond to water shortage conditions, and provisions to educate and inform the public. 
    3. Water Conservation Plan– This plan addresses measures to control lost and unaccounted for water, considers water rate structures that encourage efficient use of water, and plans for public information and education programs on water conservation.

non-compliance with the annual reports

Under Arizona statutes, the Department of Water Resources is required to provide notification of Community Water System non-compliance to local governing bodies within the service area of the systems.

“Non-compliance” means that these water systems are not in compliance with the system water plan, and/or the annual water use reporting requirements. The county boards of supervisors and city officials have a list of all Community Water Systems that are not in compliance with these requirements.

For assistance with your water well questions contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-702-1608 or message us HERE.

* The information provided is informational only, does not constitute legal advice, and will not create an attorney-client or attorney-prospective client relationship. Additionally, the Dunaway Law Group, PLC limits its practice to the states of Arizona and Utah.