Aug. 16, 2013
In response to reports that Colorado River water releases from Lake Powell may be reduced next year due to drought conditions, the city of Phoenix Water Services Department wants to assure customers that there will be no impact to the city’s water supply. Even if poor snow pack persists for the next two years and an actual shortage is declared on the Colorado River in 2016, Phoenix would be able to take all of the Central Arizona Project water it needs.
“Decades of effective water resources planning and multiple water sources are keys to keeping Phoenix sustainable in the long term,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Water is our most precious resource for public health and safety, and our history of sustainability will pay economic dividends for a bright Phoenix future.”
“The city of Phoenix has two major sources of surface water, mostly snow melt, and receives just as much from the Salt River Project (Salt and Verde Rivers) as is received from the Central Arizona Project (Colorado River),” said Phoenix Water Services Director Kathryn Sorensen. “In addition, Phoenix’s water distribution system was constructed so both Salt River Project and Central Arizona Project water can be used to serve all regions of the city. This supplies us with excellent source redundancy and reliability for our customers.”
Phoenix also utilizes some groundwater, and saves on the need for fresh water by treating and delivering nearly all of its wastewater for power generation, crops and wetlands. “This proactive, multifaceted approach to providing a sustainable water supply for Phoenix residents has been successful for many decades, and will continue to be successful as Phoenix and its partners plan for varying scenarios involving snow melt, climate change and population growth,” said Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee chair Councilwoman Thelda Williams.
Phoenix uses the same amount of water as 20 years ago due to its planning, customer conservation efforts, low-flow plumbing devices and other factors. For more information about how Phoenix plans for a sustainable water supply, visit the Water Services Department website.
More About the Water Services Department
The City of Phoenix’s Water Services Department is more than 100 years old. The department treats and reliably delivers high quality tap water to 1.5 million customers throughout approximately 540 square miles. Water Services also manages Phoenix’s sewer system, and treats wastewater for 2.5 million residents in five Valley cities. The massive infrastructure needed to serve public health and safety includes 7,000 miles of water lines, 5,000 miles of sewer lines, seven treatment plants, 50,000 fire hydrants and 90,000 manholes. The city performs more than five million tests and measurements each year to meet or surpass stringent Environmental Protection Agency water quality regulations. Phoenix’s water supply is strong and sustainable as a result of multiple water sources and a logical, methodical approach to supply planning, infrastructure management, and reuse of nearly all of the city’s highly treated wastewater for crops, wetlands and energy production. Phoenix’s water and sewer rates are among the lowest of large cities nationwide. Visit phoenix.gov/water.