Mesa Statement Following Arizona Department of Water Resources and Central Arizona Project Joint Colorado River Shortage Briefing

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Due to historic drought, climate change and over-allocation, conditions on the Colorado River are worsening. While deeper shortages may come quicker than anticipated, Mesa recognizes the situation is serious and continues to strategically plan for a future with less water.

We have known for many years that Colorado River supplies could be cut. Mesa has proactively invested in our infrastructure, water supplies, underground water storage and demand management programs. These preparations bring water resiliency and dependability to Mesa, especially during times of shortage.

- Managing and balancing the water needs of new growth, including policy changes to manage large water users and working with commercial/industrial customers on water sustainability plans.

- Maximizing efficiency in operations by utilizing industry best practice water auditing.

- Employing advanced technologies for pipe inspection and replacement to reduce water loss in the distribution system. Mesa has less water loss from main breaks and leaks than the national average.

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- Using water efficiently in parks and along City streets by installing smart landscape controllers that monitor weather conditions and plant health, and detect leaks.

- Adopting a comprehensive Water Shortage Management Plan to navigate various stages of shortage to maintain sustainable water supplies.

- Increasing the reuse of wastewater by providing effluent (treated wastewater) for agricultural use in exchange for approximately 6,800 acre-feet (AF) of vital surface water supplies a year.

- Investing in water supply resiliency projects to maximize the exchange of effluent for potable water supplies through the Central Mesa Reuse Pipeline - gaining an additional 12,000 AF of water a year.

- Exploring sustainable and cost-effective water augmentation opportunities.

- Banking 520,000 AF of water stored in the aquifer as an important component to shortage and long-term resilience planning.

- Expanding customer outreach and conservation programs to help residents and businesses take an active part in using water efficiently.

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- Participating in a historic partnership with other water agencies to bolster Lake Mead levels with a 1,200 AF contribution as part of the 500+ Plan.

Mesa's effective water management and efficient water use allow us to thrive in the desert, even in a future with less Colorado River water. What can you do? While water conservation measures are currently voluntary, practical water-wise changes in lifestyle can significantly impact our community's water future. Water conservation and efficiency are vital to a sustainable future in the desert. To learn how you can help, visit www.mesaaz.gov/conservation for tips, tools, and resources to save water and money.

Drought and shortage are not short-term problems. Mesa remains committed to water-wise management and efficient water use to ensure sustainable growth and a thriving economy. To learn more about Mesa's Water Stewardship Strategy visit, www.mesaaz.gov/water.

Contact: Ana Pereira
(480) 644-2069
Ana.pereira@mesaaz.gov

Filed Under: Government, City

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