Chandler is prepared for Colorado River shortage

Scott Murdoch

CHANDLER, AZ - A potential water supply deficit from the Colorado River is detailed in a recent report from the United States Bureau of Reclamation. Chandler's regional supplies will not be cut in an early shortage thanks to Arizona's priority system and varied water portfolio.

Chandler has been prepared for natural droughts for decades. The city began its water conservation initiatives in 1990 with the objective of developing a water conservation attitude and lowering water consumption permanently.

The Colorado River Basin is currently undergoing the greatest drought in 1,200 years. Recently, the Bureau of Reclamation has declared a Tier 1 shortage due to the increased strain on the already over-allocated Colorado River. Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico have all agreed to draw less water from the Colorado River this year due to the declaration.

Droughts and shortages are long-term issues, especially in desert areas. That is why, the city's dry climate, long-term planning is so important.

Chandler obtained its state-approved 100-year Assured Water Supply in 2010 after showing to the Arizona Department of Water Resources that it has enough renewable resources and infrastructure to fulfill current and future demands for the next 100 years. Chandler's whole service area is covered by the Assured Water Supply designation. Within Chandler's water service region, new subdivisions and businesses are automatically assumed to have a proven Assured Water Supply.

Additionally, the city has made other efforts to guarantee the readiness for a water crisis or drought. The following are some of the preparations:

  • Ensuring a diverse water supply to avoid dependency on a single source of water.
  • Putting in place a progressive Water Saving Program and Ordinances that aggressively promote water conservation measures regardless of water supply.
  • Establishing wells that will allow the City to access groundwater during periods of scarcity of surface water and to meet peak summer demand.
  • Implementing an underground storage and recovery program so that surface water can be stored underground and retrieved when there is a lack of surface water.

While there will be no immediate impact on the city's capacity to fulfill the water demands of its residents, everyone is still encouraged to keep conserving water.

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