PEORIA IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Encompassing 174 square miles, the City of Peoria has room to grow and water to sustain that growth. Prior to 2008, Peoria was among the top Arizona cities for growth, and houses continued to be built even through the recession. People have come to appreciate the scenic beauty of Peoria's desert environment, plus Peoria is a great place to locate a business. Mindful planning and financial management have yielded a bumper crop of amenities and modern infrastructure, such as schools, libraries, hiking trails, parks, and Lake Pleasant, a regional park enjoyed by thousands.
More than 160,000 people live and play in Peoria, and they aren't alone in choosing this modern city above all others. The San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners call Peoria home every spring. Spring training at the Peoria Sports Complex has become an anticipated annual event, drawing thousands of fun-loving fans.
Supporting Peoria's potential for future growth is the city's diverse and sustainable water resources portfolio. Twenty years ago, a much smaller Peoria was entirely dependent on groundwater. But "mining" groundwater cannot support a city forever. The need to become more sustainable and drought-resistant was clear to Peoria leadership, so the city invested in water infrastructure to make use of replenishable sources of water. Now water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP) and the Salt River Project canals comprises three-fourths of the water served by the city to its customers. In recognition of its diverse portfolio, the city holds a Designation of Assured Water Supply from the state. Also, in order to guide decisions on water policy, the city created the "Principles of Sound Water Management".
Water is treated at two water treatment plants to exacting standards. Citizens can rest assured that water delivered to their homes and businesses surpasses all requirements, and then some. Water quality inspectors and technicians are constantly monitoring and testing the water supply to make sure the water stays safe and clean-every drop, every day.
Like most of Arizona, Peoria has been in the grip of a serious drought for more than 15 years. Yet water continues to flow to residents, and the city continues to grow economically. The reason is careful planning and management of water resources. Peoria stores extra CAP water and reclaimed water underground at six underground storage facilities, where it cannot evaporate. Water levels in the aquifer are no longer declining at a rapid rate. Peoria has stopped "mining" groundwater, and now recovers from its wells less than half of the water it recharges each year. The actual groundwater underneath the stored water is held in deep reserve against truly drastic times. Reclaimed water is also directly served to homeowner associations, golf courses, and parks for landscaping and other uses, such as urban fishing lakes.
A strong conservation program has produced changes in residential demand. Peoria's citizens recognize the value of water in a desert environment, and have adapted their patterns of use to conserve it. Peoria's population is growing, but demand for water is not rising at the same pace. Conservation, modern infrastructure and careful planning work to make Peoria a better and more sustainable city.