Scottsdale asks residents to reduce water use by 5% amid Colorado River shortage

Jan 13, 2022, 4:25 AM
(Pexels photo)...
(Pexels photo)
(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — The city of Scottsdale asked residents on Wednesday to start conserving water by at least 5% as a supply shortage from the Colorado River began affecting the state earlier this month.

Residents and businesses in Scottsdale will not see a shortage of water supply at stage one of the city’s Drought Management Plan, but it was said in a press release people in the future may face increased water use restrictions and mandatory water conservation.

The request comes as Central Arizona Project will have its water supply cut by 30% this year after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation declared a shortage last year, the city said. Most of those cuts will come from agriculture.

“Water conservation programs have been in place in Scottsdale for decades and many Scottsdale residents and business know their value,” Scottsdale Water Executive Director Brian Biesemeyer said in the release.

“Now we need to step up our game and take water conservation to the next level. With less water coming to us from the Colorado River in 2022, we need to learn to live with less and that starts every time we turn on the tap, flush the toilet or start our irrigation systems.”

The city offered various steps to conserve water outside, which officials said is where 70% of the residential water is used.

This includes adjusting the irrigation timer, converting grass areas to Arizona-friendly landscape, creating a water budget and requesting a free outdoor water efficiency check from an irrigation specialist.

The city said people who convert grass to Arizona-friendly landscapes may also qualify to receive a rebate for the conversion, while an irrigation specialist could save customers 4,000 gallons of water per month.

Scottsdale’s plan to conserve water is expected to last multiple years with Colorado River projections forecasted to remain the same or decrease in the coming years, the city said.

The city also said it has recently reduced turf and changed non-recreational grass areas to xeriscape as well as converting faucets and toilets to low flow.

More than 40 million people in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Wyoming, Utah and Mexico are served by the Colorado River, with Lake Mead and Lake Powell being used to not only store the water but also gauge the river’s health.

Lake Mead was at 1,066 feet last week, about 34% full, while Lake Powell was 27% full at 3,536 feet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Scottsdale asks residents to reduce water use by 5% amid Colorado River shortage