Arizona Surface Water Protection Program 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 to ensure protection of our state’s important water resources, regardless of changes at the federal level. ADEQ worked with stakeholders to develop a program outline for a state Surface Water Protection Program (SWPP), which was later used to introduce House Bill 2691 (HB2691) in the 2021 Arizona legislative session. The legislature passed HB 2691, and it was signed by Governor Doug Ducey on May 5, 2021. The SWPP went into effect on Sept. 29, 2021.

HB2691 updated Arizona Revised Statutes §49-221(G) to require ADEQ publish an initial Protected Surface Waters List (PSWL) within 30 days of the SWPP effective date. The list was published on Oct. 29, 2021, and lists waters and their preliminary regulatory status as defined in statute.

ADEQ is required to conduct rulemaking to develop a state surface water protection program by Dec. 31, 2022. ADEQ is currently engaging stakeholders as we prepare for rulemaking, which will include the next version of the PSWL.


  • Arizona Protected Surface Waters List | View >
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (published on Sept. 16, 2022) | View >

Additional Information: 

  • Interested stakeholders can follow more rulemaking progress on the program's page | Learn More >
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