In Peoria, water conservation is a way of life. Peoria actively protects and preserves its diverse water supply through aquifer recharge, direct reuse of reclaimed water for landscaping and other non-drinking water demands, as well as planning and building reliable water infrastructure. Our water customers also play an integral part, recognizing the importance of saving water as a key part of living in a desert environment.
Our water conservation program is working. In the past decade alone, Peoria's water customers have reduced their water consumption by an average of 15% - that's 20,400 gallons per household per year!
We hope you take advantage of Peoria's free classes, public outreach at dozens of events annually and water rebate incentives on multiple water-wise home improvement investments to save even more water.
What is a Drought?The term drought is used to describe 'an abnormally dry time period for a specific geographic area.' Like most of Arizona, Peoria has been in the grip of a serious drought for over 15 years. Yet water continues to flow to Peoria residents, and the City continues to grow economically. California is also experiencing drought, but municipal providers there have been ordered to cut back on water deliveries by 25%. Why the stark contrast? Because Peoria and Arizona have been planning for drought for years.
Like most of Arizona, Peoria has been in the grip of a serious drought for over 15 years. Yet water continues to flow to Peoria residents, and the City continues to grow economically. California is also experiencing drought, but municipal providers there have been ordered to cut back on water deliveries by 25%. Why the stark contrast? Because Peoria and Arizona have been planning for drought for years.
Will residents always get water first?Municipal providers including Peoria have the highest priority for Central Arizona Project (CAP) water, one of the valley's primary sources of water delivered from the Colorado River via pump stations and the CAP canal.
Is water conservation working?We are using less water per person, per household than we did 20 or 30 years ago. In fact, the average household in Peoria is using 15% less water today than they did 10 years ago.
How long do droughts last?Above average snowfalls for several years can return our lakes to normal levels and provide years of renewable water supplies. We know that even during the longest drought, a year or more of average or above average precipitation can occur.
Will there be water restrictions because of drought?Even with the significant growth and dry periods experienced by Peoria in recent decades, the City has not had to restrict your water usage due to supply shortages, and it doesn't expect to do so any time soon.
Is Peoria prepared for a drought?Yes, we are prepared. Peoria has been planning and preparing for drought and water shortages for decades.
What is Peoria's Drought Management Strategy?
Peoria is preparing for the possibility of more prolonged and persistent drought scenarios by pursuing a strategy of storing enough water underground to carry the City through six years of potential water shortages.
- Read the City of Peoria Drought Management Plan (PDF) to learn the procedures and strategies for a declared water deficiency condition.
- More details are in the City of Peoria Principles of Sound Water Management (PDF)
- Review the city’s Drought Ordinance (PDF)
- Read Mayor Carlat’s comments about Peoria’s Sustainable Water Supply: A Well Thought Out Plan (PDF).
It is unlawful to waste water used for irrigation or to permit water used for irrigation to run upon the public streets or alleys of the city or upon the property of another. (City of Peoria Code, Section 13-36(d)). You can report water waste using the Peoria Reporter app.
PREVENTING WATER WASTE
Most water waste is caused by improper or inefficient landscape irrigation. By taking a few simple steps, you can improve the efficiency of your irrigation system and prevent water waste in your yard.
Over-WateringBecause our dry desert soil cannot absorb large amounts of water at one time, the best method of watering your landscape is known as "cycle and soak." This gives your yard several shorter drinks of water and allows maximum water absorption so the water stays in your yard and doesn't flow down the street. A new 'smart' irrigation controller will help. Aerating your lawn at least twice a year also allows water to soak more completely into the root zone.
Over Spray - Preventing Water WasteSprinklers can easily become turned the wrong direction, causing over spray. To find problem spots, briefly turn on your system after each mowing and observe. Most sprinkler heads can be fixed by turning the sprinkler with a firm grip of your hand or with pliers.
Sprinkler nozzles come in many shapes and sizes you may not be using the right ones. An area that has a nozzle that sprays out 12 feet may be better suited by one that sprays a shorter distance.
Obstructions - Preventing Water WasteSprinklers that shoot onto a fence, tree or something other than the grass could be the result of an inappropriate design for the area or heads that don't reach up high enough. Sometimes the solution is as simple as installing a nozzle with a different reach, angle or spray pattern.
Leaks - Preventing Water WasteOne indication of a leak is an area of your landscape that's more green or wet than other areas. However, many times a leak is a slow, but consistent trickle of water. These types of leaks usually require digging into the area to learn where the leak is located. You could have a broken sprinkler head or even a break in the irrigation line. Other indications of a leak in your irrigation system are pooling water or bubbles in your grass where water is trapped beneath the surface. You may want to consult a professional.
Another problem in the system could be a stuck valve. Normally, an irrigation valve opens when the system turns on and closes when the run cycle is complete. When the valve sticks, the system can run endlessly. To stop this problem, immediately turn off the system at your backflow device and then repair the faulty valve.
Design - Preventing Water WasteYour landscape design also can impact water waste. Narrow strips of lawn less than 10 feet by 10 feet, grass in curving areas, and grass on slopes are difficult to water efficiently. A possible solution is to remove turf from the edges of slopes and replace it with shrubs or groundcover to buffer run-off. Replacing your lawn with water-smart landscaping is a solution to water-wasting landscape designs.
What is the purpose of flushing fire hydrants, isn't that wasting water?It's necessary to flush fire hydrants to maintain water quality. High velocity water helps to clean and scour the interior of the pipes. It flushes accumulated sediments out of the system, removes stale water and restores chlorine residual. It also ensures the operability of the fire protection system.
The City of Peoria's Environmental Resources staff offers a number of publications, available by mail in our Water Conservation Packet. The following publications are included in the packet as well as several other pieces of information. Receive a free packet of water conservation related information by calling (623) 773-7286 or by sending an email.
Landscape Watering by the Numbers gives instructions for determining how much water your plants need, how much water each part of your watering system applies, and match your system's output to your plants' needs.
Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert contains information on over 200 low water use plant including size, bloom season, and water guidelines.
Xeriscape: Landscaping with Style in the Arizona Desert provides a step-by-step guide for planning, installing, and caring for your landscape.
Use the Smart Home Water Guide to find & fix leaks that are
draining your budget.
Learn about water conservation at www.amwua.org.
Visit the Desert Fusion Garden: Enjoy the low-water-use landscaping located in front of City Hall’s east wing on the Peoria Municipal Campus.
For more information, contact:
7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday
(623) 773-7561 or (623) 773-7286