Drought Response Stages

Tucson Water's Drought Preparedness and Response Plan includes specific indicators and actions the utility and its customers can take based upon:

  • The level of drought response needed.
  • Our use of both groundwater and Colorado River water.
  • The attributes of our water system.
  • How our customers actually use water.

Tucson Water's plan includes four drought response stages. Once Stage 1 has been declared for Tucson Water's service area, progression through Stages 2, 3, and 4 will be declared based on threats to Tucson Water's Colorado River supplies and/or local system indicators that may have negative impacts on the utility's groundwater supplies.

  • Stage 1 — Declared based on regional indicators such as a severe and sustained drought on the Colorado River and/or a State of Arizona declaration of drought in the Tucson region.
  • Stage 2 — Declared if an initial shortage (i.e., a shortage that does not affect municipal uses) is declared on the Colorado River, or if local system factors require additional response actions.
  • Stage 3 — Declared based on limited reductions in Central Arizona Project (CAP) deliveries to the City of Tucson or if local system factors require additional response actions.
  • Stage 4 — Declared based on additional reductions in CAP deliveries to the City o Tucson or if local system factors require additional response actions.

Tucson Water's Drought Response includes the following recommended actions:

Stage 1

  • Public education on drought issues
  • Modification of water system operations
  • Identification of water-saving and water-efficiency measures for all City of Tucson facilities
  • Additional measures which may include voluntary self-audit programs for commercial, multifamily and industrial users

Stage 2

  • Additional public education and additional system or operational actions
  • Prohibiting public fountains and other non-essential uses within City of Tucson operations
  • City implementation of water-saving and efficiencies identified in Stage 1 audits
  • Requesting all potable water users to make additional voluntary reductions
  • Mandatory self-audit requirement for commercial, multifamily, and industrial users
  • Irrigation restrictions for commercial, multifamily, and industrial customers

Stage 3

  • Mandatory water reductions by all potable water users
  • Plumbing retrofit on resale for residential, commercial, multifamily, and industrial users

Stage 4

  • Implementation of the City of Tucson's Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance
  • Restriction or prohibition of non-essential outdoor water use
  • Water only upon request at restaurants
  • Prohibition of outdoor misting systems in public areas
  • No filling of swimming pools, fountains, spas or other exterior water features
  • Cars washed only at facilities that recycle water (except for emergency vehicles)
  • Development of additional response actions if warranted