In mid-August, a water shortage was declared on the Colorado River for the first time in history. The Colorado River is the water source for around 40 million people in western states, including Arizona. Years of drought conditions have led to record low water levels at Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the river’s main reservoirs. Arizona is in the midst of a historic water shortage, but what can we do about it?
Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We partner with organizations to ensure their business goals are met and voices are heard by Arizona’s elected officials. Read our blog post below and learn what Arizona officials and homeowners can do about the Arizona water shortage.
What Does the Water Shortage Mean in Arizona?
Much of the Western United States is suffering from an intense 22-year drought, resulting in increasingly low water levels, dry soil, and wildfires. The U.S. Department of Reclamation has made cuts to Arizona’s water supply, taking a large hit on the agriculture industry, which relies on large amounts of the state’s water supply for farming. State and national forests and parks, tourism, local economy, landscaping, and home building have also been impacted by worsening drought conditions. A Tier 1 water shortage has been declared, meaning that more water supply cuts are expected in 2022.
Arizona’s population has experienced rapid growth over the last decade. While more people means more strain on the scarce water supply, population growth has also had a positive impact on water supply. As agricultural land is sold off to residential developers, the strain on the water supply is lowered because people in their homes use far less water than farmers.
What Can Homeowners Do About the Water Shortage?
While homeowners may not have been majorly impacted by recent small cuts to the water supply, there are still things that they can do to reduce water waste inside and outside of their homes:
- Make Your Landscaping Drought Resistant: Fill your yard with plants that don’t require regular watering to survive. Cacti, succulents, palms, and synthetic turf can thrive in drought conditions.
- Invest in Irrigation: Try to water your yard less, but if you are watering your yard, upgrade to high-efficiency sprinklers and nozzles that use less water.
- Avoid Fountains: Don’t install water features in your yard or home.
- Upgrade Your Bathroom: Install dual flush toilets, low flow faucets, and showerheads to reduce water usage inside your home.
How is Arizona Taking Action
Arizona has focused on water planning and management for over a century. From water supply projects to drought preparedness programs, underground water storage, 100-year water supply requirements, mandatory conservation programs, and the use of reclaimed water, Arizona has made difficult water supply management decisions to meet water demands without rationing.
Professionals who study action plans for ensuring our future generations have continuous access to water say that Arizonans can expect to see significant investments in modern technology creating innovative systems to replenish the water supply and ease the drought. Some action has already been taken toward water conservation in Arizona:
- In 2019, Governor Doug Ducey created the Governor’s Water Augmentation, Innovation and Conservation Council to help ensure the vitality of Arizona’s water supply.
- The Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee confers weekly to advise the U.S. Drought Monitor authors on the current drought conditions in Arizona and makes recommendations about the position of the drought boundaries for Arizona.
- A water shortage bill passed the legislature as a part of the FY2022 budget. This bill will fund $200 million of water supply and conservation projects.
Dorn Policy Group, Inc. Advocates for Water Availability
As one of the leading Arizona government relations firms, we know how important it is to be noticed by key elected officials and community leaders. With such a large, diverse community, it can be difficult getting your voice heard. Dorn Policy Group, Inc. ensures you are represented in the best possible light. Contact us today and learn how we can help your business find success through strong government relations.