Southern Arizona Water Users Association


John Kmiec


Tucson Water

Joseph Olsen

Vice President

Metro Water District

Brian Wong


BKW Farms

Peter Abraham


Oro Valley Water Utility

SAWUA Officers

The Southern Arizona Water Users Association (SAWUA) is comprised of 15 members, including the largest water providers in the Tucson region, wastewater reclamation entities, and agricultural water users. 

The Association coordinates in the development of effective water resource policy and planning in an effort to preserve and enhance the quality and quantity of the region's water resources.

SAWUA’s aim is to provide one voice from Southern Arizona on water legislation and issues. SAWUA has effectively protected and advanced water issues in the region. 

SAWUA is a voluntary nonprofit organized in 1999. Read More.


SAWUA Members




Featured News and Updates

SAUWA Newsletter January 2020

Welcome from Our President:

With the momentum established by the successful enactment of the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (LBDCP) during the 2019 legislative session, pursuing meaningful water policy in Arizona has experienced a political revival, arguably not seen since the unprecedented bipartisan approach to the Groundwater Management Act of 1980.

Southern Arizona water policy advocates witnessed this resurgence firsthand with record-breaking attendance at the annual SAWUA Water Summit in October 2019. For the past 11 years, beginning in 2008, this annual water forum has focused on water policies directly impacting Southern Arizona and attracts nationally recognized speakers as well as prominent Arizona policymakers and influencers. SAWUA would like to thank all those that attended the fall summit. We look forward to a continued dialogue on water policy in 2020...Read More in the SAWUA Newsletter.

SAWUA Appreciates AZ Water Professionals!

For the second year, AZWater will honor the hard work of professionals in the water industry during Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week, April 12-18, 2020. The week coincides with the AZ Water Annual Conference April 13-16 in Phoenix. Please stop by the Water Resources Committee table in the conference lobby to receive your free commemorative lapel pin.

A special recognition ceremony will kick off the week on April 13, 2020, at 4 p.m. in the Rose Garden of the State Capitol. All water professionals are invited to attend! Organizations that employ water professionals are encouraged to celebrate their staff and organize events during Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation week.

Demonstrate your support and register your event at and use #AZWaterProfessionals on social media.

SAUWA Water Priorities for 2020

Each year, the SAWUA Board of Directors adopts policy priorities to guide the association throughout the legislative session. These policy priorities are to assist legislators from Southern Arizona in understanding what water policies are most important to the region. For the 2020 legislative session, the association adopted the following priorities:

• Dedicated Funding for Arizona Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund

• Extend the AMA Management Plans Beyond 2025

• Accomplish the Arizona Water Banking Authority Reform as Proposed by the 2017 Governor's Plenary Group

• Implementation of the AWBA Recovery Plan

• Emerging Contaminants of Concern

• Renegotiation of the 2007 Guidelines for Operation of Lake Powell and

  Mead on the Colorado River

• Extended Remediated Groundwater Waiver Beyond 2025

Read More about SAWUA's Priorities for 2020.

Year-round Focus on the Development of Water Policy

After the completion of the LBDCP, stakeholders continued to collaborate on long- term water policy and potential legislation for the 2020 legislative session.

The Governor’s Water Augmentation, Innovation, and Conservation Council continued to develop long-term strategies towards water desalination, long-term water augmentation, policies addressing Non-Active Management Area (AMA) groundwater, and to develop strategic solutions for water management challenges facing the AMAs beyond 2025.

Consistent with the statutory requirements of the Groundwater Management Act of 1980, the Arizona Department of Water Resources hosted workgroups for the 4th and 5th Management Plan.

Among the most notable private-sector venues was the Vetting Forum 4 Water discussions, coordinated by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and the Agri-Business Council, which focused on discussions for the 2020 legislative session. This forum benefitted from sustained participation by policymakers who engaged in public discussions on their respective water policy legislative priorities, thereby providing water policy stakeholders and elected officials with the opportunity to work through policy and implementation challenges well in advance of the 2020 legislative session. The roundtable discussion also created a mechanism for water policy professionals to outline their own water policy perspectives, thus creating a greater awareness for policymakers on matters impacting water resource concerns throughout the state.

This process generated discussions revolving around six legislative proposals regarding the: General Stream Adjudication Process; Direct Distribution of Water Bank Credits for Recovery; Water Efficiency Plumbing Standards; the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF); and best land management practices relating to the removal of hazardous vegetation, often referred to as waterlogging.