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WQD | DW Capacity Development

Safe Drinking Water

Capacity Development

Revised On: Dec. 1, 2023 - 7:30 a.m.

In 1996, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was amended and the capacity development program was introduced to strengthen the technical, managerial and financial (TMF) capacity of public water systems operations. The goals of the capacity development program are to ensure that Arizona’s public water systems:

  • Are able to meet current and future drinking water demand while protecting public health and the environment
  • Are able to maintain compliance with all applicable drinking water laws and regulations
  • Possess long-term sustainability

New water systems1 are required to demonstrate technical, managerial and financial capacity prior to beginning operations.

What Is Capacity?

Technical Capacity

The physical infrastructure of the system, including but not limited to, source water adequacy, infrastructure sufficiency and technical knowledge of certified operators. In other words, does your treatment plant work the way it’s supposed to? Are you providing safe, healthy drinking water, as required by law, to your customers now? Will you be able to in the future? Is the system staffed with a proper certified operator? The answer to all should be "yes."

Managerial Capacity

The management structure of the system, including but not limited to, ownership accountability, staffing, organization and communication. Do you have a capable and trained staff? Is there a defined management structure? Do your customers know whom to contact with questions or issues?

Learn About Asset Management | View Page >

Financial Capacity

The financial resources of the water system, including but not limited to, revenue sufficiency, credit worthiness and fiscal controls.  Does your system have a budget?  Are your revenues covering costs, repairs and replacements?

How do I demonstrate capacity?

Before beginning operations, an Elementary Business Plan must be submitted by the new water system and approved by ADEQ. The requirements are fulfilled by completing the Capacity Development Application for a New Public Water System | Learn More >

The application demonstrates that the water system has the technical, managerial and financial capacity to provide healthy drinking water to its customers in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.

Small Water Systems

ADEQ undertakes numerous efforts to improve the technical, managerial and financial capacity of existing water systems. These efforts include: extensive technical assistance, operator and management trainings, sanitary survey follow up and financial assistance.

We also perform predictive analytics using current and historic data to proactively help small water systems avoid drinking water standard exceedances that pose a risk to public health and take action on potential problems early, before they build into bigger, costlier problems | Learn about Predictive Analytics >

Please contact ADEQ for assistance.

1All new community, and nontransient-noncommunity public water systems created on or after Oct. 1, 1999