Drought is a long period of abnormally low precipitation (rain or snow), especially one that adversely affects growing or living conditions. Drought can be caused by seasonal or multi-year weather conditions, a curtailment of delivery from raw water suppliers because of water quantity or quality problems, a supply deficiency due to water supply system structural failure, or any of a number of natural or man-made situations.
B. Supply Insufficiency
Supply insufficiency occurs when water available in an area is not sufficient to meet immediate unrestricted demand. While drought is usually systemic and regional in nature and of indeterminable length, a supply insufficiency may be system-wide or very localized, can be of relatively short duration, and may be caused by unforeseen increases in water demand or failure of a localized part of the storage or delivery system to provide a sufficient unrestricted supply of water.
C. Demand Reductions
Demand reductions are all measures taken by a water utility to reduce the use of potable water in response to drought or supply insufficiency conditions. While a number of water conservation measures may be implemented or accelerated during drought, not all water conservation is a response to drought and not all demand reduction measures are factors in a comprehensive water conservation program. Conservation, by its very nature, should be a normal component of a well-run water utility which seeks to maintain a reliable water resource. It should be an on-going practical application of good citizenship in the community. Demand reduction includes measures which would restrict water further than a normal conservation minded desert lifestyle.
Conservation programs are usually voluntary and are driven by a desire of the City of Peoria Utilities Department to extend the existing water supply, reduce the costs of finding and delivering additional water, and minimize the damage to the natural ecosystem caused by removing groundwater. For customers, conservation efforts can decrease overall household operating expenses. For both the utility and customers, conservation activities are exercises in responsible behavior. Water demand reduction during a drought may incorporate both voluntary measures and mandatory ones, such as curtailment of irrigation water use and, in extreme cases, rationing of available supplies. Many of the organizational demand management responses to a drought condition, including conservation measures, are appropriate for responding to a short-duration supply insufficiency. Generally, responses to a systemic failure will be more rapid and may omit intermediate steps normally associated with an incremental drought response plan.
From areas which have experienced drought, it is evident that drought is not a constant or totally predictable condition in occurrence or duration. Rather, there are levels of drought and levels of drought impact, and therefore: levels of demand reduction response.
D. Potable Water
Potable water is water suitable or safe for drinking. Water is considered safe to drink if it meets or exceeds all of the federal, state, and provincial standards that are legally enforceable. If your water does not meet any one of these standards your supplier must notify their customers of the problem.
Effluent is an outflow from a sewer or sewage system; reclaimed wastewater. Effluent that is reused is treated to a quality suitable for non-potable applications such as landscape irrigation, decorative water features, and non-food crops. Such water remains effluent until it acquires the characteristics of groundwater or surface water.
F. Urban Irrigators
Urban Irrigators are flood irrigators in Peoria and the rest of the valley who receive water directly from the Salt River Project canals to their residential landscape. This non-potable water floods their landscape controlled by berms. People who have this service live within the boundaries of former farmland, which had farmland irrigation water rights that still belong to the land
G. Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) Grandfathered Water Rights
ADWR grandfathered water rights are a provision in a statue exempting those already involved in a regulated activity from the new regulations in the statue. Those who have grandfathered water right from ADWR are in some respect, exempt from its 1980-groundwater management regulation. For Peoria, this means that some citizens within city limits are not regulated by City code. These are regulated by the state. Golf courses are a good example of the grandfathered water rights use in Peoria.
H. Ornamental Fountain
An ornamental fountain is any fountain that is solely or partially used for decorative purposes.
I. Household Greywater
Household greywater is any potable water that passes through a residential shower, bathtub, bathroom sink, or washing machine.
J. Household Blackwater
Household blackwater is any potable water that passes through, but not limited to; a residential toilet, kitchen sink, dishwasher, or workshop sink.