The Southern Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project (SAVSARP) is constructed on former agricultural land near the intersection of Sandario and Snyder Hill Roads. The City of Tucson purchased this land in the 1970s and initially used it as a well field. The well field was one of Tucson Water's various sources of potable water supply.
SAVSARP is a sister project to CAVSARP, only a few miles to the north. After the CAVSARP project reached full operation, Tucson Water explored the idea of constructing another facility in the area. After analyzing soil core samples and drill cuttings, it was decided that a paleochannel ran through the area that is now the site of SAVSARP. This ancient streambed results in ideal conditions to recharge large amounts of water. The basins are curved and laid out to follow the path of the paleochannel. This is why the project looks so different from CAVSARP.
Historically, groundwater levels have declined in the SAVSARP area, due to agriculture and drinking water extraction. The SAVSARP facility mitigates previous over-pumping and allows the City of Tucson to fully utilize its Central Arizona Project (CAP) water allocation.