FAQs - Water Resources & Conservation

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I report a water emergency?
Where does the water I use come from?
Do I have a responsibility to save water?
Where do I start?
Why doesn't Phoenix give rebates to encourage customers to reduce water use?
Why doesn't Phoenix just stop growth to save water?
What about drought?
How much water does my lawn need?
Draining my pool seems wasteful, what should I do?
Why do I see grass in Phoenix parks and golf courses?
Where do I go for information on water quality?
Who do I call regarding bad taste, color odor or low water pressure?
Where can I get more answers?
What can I do when I see water waste?

Getting Answers Fast

When managing water use in your home or your business, it's important to get the facts.

The City is keeping on top of the latest water conservation strategies and technologies through partnerships with Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE); EPA's WaterSense; American Water Works Association (AWWA); and Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA).

We also are in your schools with Project WET helping Phoenix students learn about water conservation and water resources.

How can I report a water emergency?
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Please call to report broken main lines in streets:
602-262-6251 (M - F, 7:30 am to 5 pm); or
602-261-8000 (weekends, holidays and M - F after 5 pm).

Where does the water I use come from?
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More than 90% of your water comes from the Salt River Project (SRP) via canal and pipeline from the Salt and Verde Rivers and from the Central Arizona Project (CAP) which transports water from the Colorado River. Wells are pumped minimally to keep them maintained for back-up supply for use during shortages. Reclaimed water accounts for a minor percentage used for turf irrigation.

Do I have a responsibility to save water?
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We all have a responsibility to conserve our natural resources. The water we all share in Phoenix keeps our city, families and businesses thriving. With a little extra effort, water conservation can become a "Phoenix way of life." Conserving water yields many benefits including time, money and energy savings.

Where do I start?
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Learning how to save water in your home and your business is easy. The City has put easy-to-follow resources at your fingertips for outdoor and indoor savings.

Why doesn't Phoenix give rebates to encourage customers to reduce water use?
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Rebates are offered by utilities to help achieve a goal. For water providers in Arizona, the goal is to reduce water use. The Arizona Department of Water Resources sets conservation goals for each water provider with a timeframe to reach the required reductions. Through good management practices and the water conservation efforts by our customers, Phoenix has been able to achieve and surpass its goal without financial incentives. If Phoenix provided rebates for replacing toilets or converting to desert landscaping on a large scale, the cost would need to be covered by a rate increase or a tax revenue subsidy to pay for it. In either case, Phoenix water customers would ultimately foot the bill. The success of current water use reduction by our customers indicates that it is not good way to use those revenues.

Why doesn't Phoenix just stop growth to save water?
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Fortunately, meeting current and future water demands during times of drought does not require stopping growth in Phoenix. Our current economy relies on continued growth. Most people in Phoenix and the region support policies that favor managed growth. We recently looked at the 50 year future of Phoenix and its ability to meet water needs of a growing city even under long-term drought. Our conclusion was that new water facilities and supplies needed for growth could be met without having a negative impact on existing customers. Phoenix is moving forward with new policies that take this approach, such as requiring low water use for new construction. Existing customers must still do their part — increasing your efforts to live a low-water-use lifestyle will mean that the City will be able to supply you with affordable water, even during drought.

New homes require new water resources, and Phoenix expects development to fund the cost of these resources. In addition, most new development utilizes low-water-use systems and landscaping; thus, the average household water use of a new house is less than the average household water use of existing houses. New commercial and industrial uses also are more efficient. The result is that in the City of Phoenix, the rate at which total water consumption is increasing is lower than our growth rate. Thus stopping growth would not result in significant water savings.

We need to understand that stopping growth could result in a drastic slow-down in the local economy; a slowdown that would hurt not only the home building industry, but the entire employment and commerce base that sustains our community. This would limit the city's ability to finance the development of new water resources and have a major impact on our ability to meet demand during times of drought.

Since 1998, Phoenix's per person use of water has declined despite a 15 percent growth rate — which is a testament to water supply planning and our customers' water conservation efforts.

What about drought?
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Phoenix has sufficient water supplies to meet local needs even in times of moderate drought. Even so, conserving water now is environmentally responsible, saves money, and helps to save water for when it is truly needed. The City stays prepared for drought by managing demand and maintaining plans for drought management.

How much water does my lawn need?
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How much water a lawn needs varies from house to house and season to season.  Factors that effect how much water should be put on grass include the efficiency of the irrigation system, the type of soil at your home and the type of grass in your yard.  Phoenix offers a free guide, "Landscape Watering by the Numbers" which has information about proper watering for this area.  An online version is available at Water -- Use It Wisely, or a copy can be ordered at the Literature & Media section of this web site, as well as other helpful landscape and irrigation brochures

Draining my pool seems wasteful, what should I do?
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To save water, pool draining should be infrequent (every five years or more). Keeping chemicals in balance helps you avoid wasteful dumping of water. However, when you must drain a pool follow City guidelines by discharging water into sewer cleanouts. There are also new technologies that will clean calcium and other contaminants from the water and recycle the water back into the pool. Information about these services is available at pool supply stores (contact a Valley pool professional for safe draining strategies).

Why do I see grass in Phoenix parks and golf courses?
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Municipal parks, golf courses and open spaces provide Phoenix residents and visitors with opportunities for fun and recreation. State-of-the-art monitoring systems are being used, when possible, to ensure a high level of efficiency in irrigation watering.

The City produces reclaimed water for use by turf facilities such as golf courses.

Take advantage of neighborhood parks and open spaces as an opportunity to replace the maintenance of grass in your own home or business. You'll have more time for friends, family and visitors!

Where do I go for information on water quality?
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Visit our salinity page for comprehensive information. Each year Phoenix is required to publish an annual water quality report. The reports are available on Phoenix.Gov.

Who do I call regarding bad taste, color odor or low water pressure?
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Call Customer Service at (602)262-6251.

Where can I get more answers?
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Visit our library and literature & media pages for additional resources. You'll find information for your home, your business and your school, and resources about your water.

What can I do when I see water waste?
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You can report water waste by calling 602-262-6251.

Contact us.


Where can I find out more?