ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix City Council passes water conservation ordinance

Mar 7, 2024, 4:25 AM

Arizona water...

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a water conservation ordinance on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a water conservation ordinance on Wednesday.

The ordinance requires new large water users, those who use more than 250,000 gallons of water per day, to submit a water conservation plan to be approved by the Phoenix Water Services Department.

Companies using more than 500,000 gallons per day must also submit a water conservation plan and reallocate 30% of their water consumption to recycled or conserved water methods, in addition to fitting within Phoenix’s current Water Resource Portfolio.  

“Passing our new large water user ordinance is another important milestone in our longstanding commitment to a comprehensive approach to protect our water resources,” Gallego said in a press release. “This new policy will ensure we are balancing our economic development priorities with the critical need to secure our water supply for generations to come. Phoenix will continue to lead the way both in policy and practice to ensure we sustain our most precious resource.” 

The new ordinance is the latest step in Gallego’s Sustainable Desert Development Policy that she has overseen since June 2022.

Phoenix declared a Stage 1 Water Alert in June 2022 due to shortages and uncertainties regarding the water supply from the Colorado River, which supplies approximately 40% of Phoenix’s water.

Gallego’s Sustainable Desert Development has also facilitated regulations on non-functional turf, overseen the planting of drought-tolerant and native plants and added standards for outdoor irrigation and swimming pools.

Last year, Phoenix City Council voted to keep up to 150,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead during the next three years. In 2023, Gallego also announced the development of an Advanced Water Purification facility that aims to recycle approximately 60 million gallons of water per day.  

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Phoenix City Council passes water conservation ordinance