Scottsdale Arizona


Scottsdale a major milestone to ensure long-term sustainability of water resources by azhttp

Water is the lifeblood of a community and always a top concern of mine. I would like to share Scottsdale’s recent achievement which demonstrates our steadfast commitment to long-term sustainability of our water resources.

A major milestone has been achieved by Scottsdale. This past year we recharged as much water into the groundwater aquifers as was pumped out from wells. This balance is called “safe yield” and it ensures the long-term sustainability of the city’s groundwater resources. Several factors contributed to this achievement, including strategic planning and the construction of the Water Campus. Scottsdale recently received the prestigious Crescordia Award for our Aquifer Sustainability Program during Valley Forward’s annual Environmental Awards banquet.

“In 1980 Arizona passed the Groundwater Management Act that set the achievement of “safe yield,” a balance between groundwater withdrawal and artificial/natural recharge, as a goal for Phoenix-area water providers. To achieve “safe yield” Scottsdale had to overcome several challenges – primarily its historic 100 percent dependency on groundwater to supply its drinking water, and secondly, the city’s wells are located on the upper-end of the aquifer, making the community more vulnerable to water-level decline.

Scottsdale implemented an innovative set of water resource management strategies, which culminated in the city’s Aquifer Sustainability Program. Its surface water acquisition program was funded by the first impact fees in the state, developed by Scottsdale, dedicated exclusively toward water supply acquisition. The city now receives approximately 75 percent of its drinking water from two surface water supplies, the Colorado River through the Central Arizona Project, and the Salt and Verde rivers through SRP.

The city then maximized its reclaimed water supply through its Scottsdale Water Campus, which delivers reclaimed water directly to 23.5 golf courses in north Scottsdale for turf irrigation. To better manage groundwater conditions, the city initiated a complex groundwater modeling effort, and helped to establish a strong water conservation ethic as one of the founding partners of the Valleywide “Water – Use It Wisely” campaign.” Scottsdale achieved “safe yield” in 2006, a milestone that will help sustain groundwater resources.”

Even though safe yield has been achieved, residents are still asked to conserve water and to take advantage of the tips and tools available to them from the city’s Water Conservation Office. To learn more about how you can conserve water, please call the office at 480 312-5650.

Scottsdale is a leader in the Valley and the nation in conservation and in using artificial groundwater recharge to enhance the sustainability of the city’s water supply. This is an important part of Scottsdale’s overall water supply management strategy. Maintaining the city’s safe yield balance is the city’s next goal. Congratulations to Dave Mansfield and the entire Water Resources team.


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