Arizona’s Water Conservation Considerations
December 1, 2021
There’s no denying it, water has become an increasingly hot topic in recent years, and even more so with the announcement in August from U.S. officials declaring the first-ever water shortage from the Colorado River. This shortage means Arizona will reduce water usage from the Colorado River by 18%, beginning in 2022. According to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, this reduction will not impact municipal or residential uses.
Luckily for Arizonans, water conservation and sustainability has been a priority for local government for decades with the Groundwater Management Act in 1980, which maintains a 100-year water supply to meet the current and future needs for Arizona residents and businesses. Conscious planning for the future means that Arizona leads the nation in water conservation efforts. This is impressive when you consider the fact that 36% of Arizona’s water supply comes from the Colorado River, while neighboring states like California rely on the Colorado River for 60% of their water, Colorado uses 30-40%, and Nevada is 100% dependent.
With the news in August around the Colorado River water shortage, there are many considerations individuals and industries can take into account when planning for the future water supply. If history has taught us anything, it’s that smart planning in the present creates a brighter future.
- Xeriscaping: When it comes to landscaping a residential or commercial property in Arizona, think natural! Plants that are native to our desert landscape, like Century Plants, Saguaro, and Palo Verde are designed to withstand the heat and sparce water supply. The added bonus? They’re typically low maintenance.
- Gray Water Recycling: Consider installing a gray water system to recycle “waste-water,” from your washing machine, bathtub, shower, or bathroom sink
- Low Flow Fixtures and Fittings: This option is what it sounds like – fixtures designed to save water by introducing a lower flow rate or smaller quantity usage.
- Instant Hot Water Heaters: This option can reduce water waste while also saving you money on your energy bill
- High Efficiency Water-Using Appliances: There’s never been more options when it comes to high efficiency water-using appliances. Save on your energy bill while conserving water!
- Low Flow Irrigation Drips: If you need an irrigation system, low flow irrigation drip is the most efficient for water use because it accomplishes its task with very little runoff and evaporation
- Less Concrete: Consider eco-friendly alternatives to concrete like Green Concrete, Ashcrete, or Composite Cement.
- Low Water Planting: Create a beautiful landscape that will survive in your area! Find regional plant lists with low water use at azwater.gov
- Swimming Pool Covers: It might sound simple, but make sure you’re utilizing a full coverage swimming pool cover to avoid evaporation. The more you can keep at the ready, the less often you’ll need to add more water.
When it comes to water conservation, it will take compromise and thoughtful planning from everyone to ensure we can maintain a sustainable water supply for years to come. If we can take advantage of opportunities to conserve as they arise, we will all be better off in the long run – and so will future generations.