PHOENIX — The city of Mesa this week declared a plan to manage water use after entering a phase one shortage.
Kathy Macdonald, Mesa’s water resources planning consultant, emphasizes that it’s not about running out of water, it’s just about rethinking how it’s used.
“Mesa has a very strong water portfolio,” she said. “We get water from multiple sources, including the Salt and Verde Rivers, the Colorado River, and groundwater.”
However, troubling trends at one of these providers have caused the city to rethink its water use.
“Conditions on the Colorado River are deteriorating, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to improve anytime soon,” Macdonald said.
The new water management plan urges the reduction of water use around the city, starting with the city.
Mesa is committed to reducing water use at city facilities, including parks. They are also urging residents to do their part.
“We’re not asking for mandatory water restrictions,” Macdonald said. “We’re just trying to raise awareness…and encourage our residents to use water efficiently.”
She said there are many simple ways for citizens to reduce their water consumption.
“Check for leaks around your house, or maybe irrigate your landscaping more efficiently,” suggests Macdonald. “Also, just be aware of how much water you’re actually using.”
How much water should people use? This can be a difficult question to answer for those who have never really had to think about it.
Macdonald says Mesa has a tool that may be able to help.
“Residents can come to our website where they can find advice and tools [to save water] tailored to the needs of their family and the unique needs of their home.
Will Mesa ever implement stricter restrictions? Macdonald doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.
“In the final stages of our plan, we have mandatory water restrictions,” she said.
“It really depends on the severity of the situation. We continuously monitor conditions on the Colorado River to ensure we are taking the right actions.