EPCOR Water, Maricopa Water District announce 50-year water agreement

EPCOR Water and Maricopa Water District (MWD) have announced an agreement that will help supply the water needs in western metropolitan Phoenix as land use shifts from farming to residential use.

PHOENIX, AZ, Nov. 19, 2015 -- EPCOR Water and Maricopa Water District (MWD) have announced an agreement that will help supply the water needs in western metropolitan Phoenix as land use shifts from farming to residential use, providing up to 5.865 billion gallons (18,000 acre feet) of surface water annually to EPCOR Water and MWD customers.

Under the 50-year partnership, EPCOR Water will be able to purchase surface water from MWD to treat for safe drinking water for use in areas of the Aqua Fria district that fall within MWD boundaries. The agreement is unique, shifting the use of water from agriculture to residential and commercial use that will allow Phoenix's West Valley to grow in a sustainable way.

The agreement -- one of the first public-private water resources agreements of its kind -- provides the West Valley with additional water supply and greater operational flexibility to meet the growth expectations of the West Valley.

A more renewable water supply also allows EPCOR Water to pump less groundwater, helping to protect the underground water supply -- a non-renewable natural resource. The agreement takes effect November 1, 2015.

In the United States, EPCOR Water delivers over 20 billion gallons of clean, safe water each year to more than 350,000 customers -- this includes over 5 billion gallons annually to more than 41,000 homes and businesses in the Agua Fria district which combines the use of surface water and groundwater for a drought-resistant, sustainable water supply. The agreement, which covers portions of the Agua Fria district that are within MWD boundaries, gives EPCOR Water access to approximately the same amount of MWD water, plus enough to supply future growth in the district.

"Ensuring the daily delivery of clean, safe water to our customers requires long-range planning, something that is deeply rooted in our company" said Troy Day, Vice President of EPCOR Water's Arizona operations. "This agreement memorializes our great relationship with the Maricopa Water District and ensures that, together, we will meet the needs of the growing West Valley."

MWD General Manager Glen Vortherms called the agreement "a win for the West Valley and a win for the future."

"We are thrilled to be part of this historic agreement," Vortherms said. "As land within MWD transitions from agriculture to homes and businesses, it is important that we also transition the use of our water resources. This will help us stay ahead of future demand, continuing a proud Arizona tradition of long-range water planning."

Joe Gysel, president of EPCOR Water's U.S. operations, agreed, saying: "This 50-year agreement with the Maricopa Water District is a key move for the future of EPCOR's water supply portfolio, and another example of the thoughtful approach to water management in Arizona."

About EPCOR Water USA

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, EPCOR Water USA's wholly owned subsidiaries build, own and operate water and wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure in the southwestern United States. EPCOR Water USA is the largest private, regulated water utility in Arizona and New Mexico, providing water and wastewater service to approximately 350,000 customers through approximately 202,000 service connections across 22 communities and seven counties.

About Maricopa Water District

The Maricopa Water District (MWD) was formally organized in 1925, as a political subdivision and an irrigation and water conservation district under Arizona state statutes. In 1927, MWD completed the construction of Waddell Dam and Lake Pleasant which at the time was the world's largest multiple arch dam and is one of the few privately funded reclamation projects in Arizona. MWD also holds the surface water rights of the Agua Fria River above today's New Waddell Dam. Today MWD provides water and power to an area of approximately 60 square miles. The lands within MWD that are still agricultural are cropped with vegetables (radishes, carrots, melons, etc.), rose bushes and palm trees along with hobby farms and golf courses on lands that have been urbanized and developed.

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