Surface Water Protection

Surface Water Protection Program | Proposed Water Quality Rulemaking


In response to federal changes in rules related to Waters of the United States (WOTUS), the Arizona legislature provided ADEQ with additional authorities to proactively protect certain non-WOTUS waters, specifically those used for drinking, fishing and other forms of recreation.

ADEQ recognized a “local control approach” was needed in response to the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which changed the federal definition for a WOTUS. ADEQ worked with stakeholders to develop a program outline for a state surface water protection program, which was later used to introduce House Bill (HB) 2691 in the 2021 Arizona legislative session. The legislation passed HB 2691, and it was signed by Governor Doug Ducey on May 5, 2021. The State Surface Water Protection Rule becomes effective 91 days after the 2021 legislative session ends | View House Bill 2691>

ADEQ is required to conduct rulemaking to develop a state surface water protection program. ADEQ will engage stakeholders to inform the final PSWL and rulemaking process | Stakeholder Meetings and Materials >

Within 30 days of the bill becoming effective, ADEQ is required to finalize a Protected Surface Waters List (PSWL). Waters on the PSWL will include known WOTUS and list waters as defined in HB 2691 49-221(G).  A draft of the PSWL was developed to inform legislators* | View List > | View Map >