Addressing Water Issues with Buyers

Sarah Kirsch Richardson
Founder and CEO
Tru Realty


Well, we’re here. It’s 2022 and for the second consecutive year, NOAA has forecasted the continuation of persistent drought and below-average precipitation in the West. But it’s nothing new: Nature Climate Change reported that from 2000 to 2021, we saw the driest conditions we’ve seen in the last 1,200 years.

In August 2021, as accessible water levels reached levels of serious concern, the federal government formally declared a tier 1 water shortage. This translated to cutting Arizona’s share of the Colorado River, where 36% of Arizona’s water comes from, by 166 billion gallons. Arizonans are already experiencing the effects of short water supply, as some residents scramble to secure water from neighboring counties and fear for the future of where their water will come from.

Water supply has been a concern for a long, long time, and it’s only because of smart planning – like the Groundwater Management Act in 1980 – that our water supply has sustained us thus far. But government officials are now forced to make difficult decisions to ensure a sustainable water supply, and Arizona residents will need to step up their conservation efforts.

In January of this year, Scottsdale city officials asked residents, as well as businesses and visitors, to do their part to conserve water, calling for a minimum of a 5% reduction. And while this isn’t a federal mandate, it’s a good practice for all Arizonans to consider as water supply continues to be of concern. 

As an Arizona resident, you are most likely aware of best practices when it comes to water conservation in your home, but it’s very possible that your out-of-state buyers aren’t. With new home builds developing left and right, and out-of-state buyers continuing to move to Arizona in droves, make sure your buyers are aware of the water challenges they’ll deal with before diving into the search for their new home. You can also remind them that there are unique opportunities and resources they can take advantage of to help conserve water.

Here are some of the top-recommended ways to join the water conservation efforts and cut down on usage:

Swimming Pool Covers: If your buyers want a house with a pool, remind them about the importance of utilizing a full coverage swimming pool cover to avoid evaporation. The more they can keep at the ready, the less often they’ll need to add more water.

Xeriscaping: Your buyers might be concerned that they can’t have a beautiful landscape without water. Help them understand that there are many plants native to our desert landscape, like Century Plants, Saguaro, and Palo Verde which are designed to withstand the heat and sparce water supply. Your selling point: They’re typically low maintenance.

Low Flow Irrigation Drips: If they 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.

Low Flow Fixtures, Fittings, and Instant Hot Water Heaters: Open buyer minds to fixtures designed to save water by introducing a lower flow rate or smaller quantity usage. Additionally, instant hot water heaters can reduce water waste while also saving money on their energy bill.

High Efficiency Water-Using Appliances: Remind your buyers that there are many options when it comes to high efficiency water-using appliances. 

Less Concrete: For any new projects they’re considering, share that there are eco-friendly alternatives to concrete like Green Concrete, Ashcrete, or Composite Cement.

Gray Water Recycling: Connect them with resources to install a gray water system to recycle “waste-water,” from the washing machine, bathtub, shower, or bathroom sink.


Educating your out-of-state buyers on opportunities to conserve water in their new home will not only serve the greater good, it will establish yourself as an expert on the area in their eyes. You’ll develop their trust and increase the opportunity for future referrals. And, if we can take advantage of opportunities to spread awareness for the issue, we will all be looking at a brighter future.