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AMWUA Blog
BY: AMWUA Staff

Investing in water infrastructure secures our future

Published May 14, 2024

Water systems are the most fundamental infrastructure within our communities as they ensure safe and clean water delivery to households, industries, and businesses. Millions of gallons of water move daily through miles of pipes buried under our feet. The water circulates through treatment plants, tanks, pumps, and miles of service lines that deliver water to our water meters and is there whenever we need it. All of which is not a simple feat.

Accomplishing this requires vast infrastructure systems that have been methodically built over the course of decades. Within the ten AMWUA municipalities, the collective infrastructure consists of 30 water treatment plants, over 18,000 miles of water lines, 142,000 fire hydrants, and more than one million water meters. All of which highlights the extent of infrastructure needed to deliver water every day of the year.

Clean and safe water is a precious commodity, and investing in pipelines, canals, treatment plants, recharge projects, and countless other technology upgrades is critical for securing our water future. Such investments ensure that Arizona’s water supplies remain clean and reliable. This is even more important than ever as water utilities face pressures on their water supplies impacted by our 30-year historic drought and Colorado River shortages.

Like transportation, telecommunications, and power - water infrastructure ages over time and eventually must be replaced. That is why maintaining and upgrading infrastructure is a continual priority for the AMWUA cities and all water providers. This includes making the financial commitment to invest in their water infrastructure's maintenance, replacement, and expansion, which has experienced rising costs impacted by the same inflation and supply chain issues that have affected other aspects of our economy.  

Maintaining aging and expansive water distribution and collection systems is an ongoing and growing expense for your city and is a significant component of your city’s water rates. Your city water professionals are continually fine-tuning how best to plan and fund for the timely replacement of this critical infrastructure so that expensive emergency repairs and customer service disruption are avoided as often as possible.

As we recognize Infrastructure Week - a national week of advocacy and education that brings together business, labor, and elected leaders to spotlight the need to revitalize, modernize, and invest in infrastructure – it’s essential to understand and appreciate infrastructure's critical role in the desert. Prioritizing investments in the rehabilitation or replacement of aging water and wastewater systems and building new infrastructure ensures the reliability and resiliency of our water now and for future generations.

Learn more about the water infrastructure within your city:

AVONDALE - Home to more than 84,000 residents, the city maintains 328 miles of water lines, 326 miles of wastewater lines, 2,721 fire hydrants, 23,499 water meters and operates three water treatment plants and one wastewater treatment plant.

CHANDLER – With more than 260,000 residents, Chandler maintains two water treatment plants and 1,230 miles of potable water lines. The city has 16,096 fire hydrants, nearly 84,000 meters, 1,015 miles of wastewater lines, and operates three wastewater treatment plants.

GILBERT - With nearly 247,000 residents, the Town maintains two water treatment plants, two wastewater treatment plants, 1,333 miles of water lines, 990 miles of wastewater lines, 83,055 water meters, and 12,578 fire hydrants.

GLENDALE – With a population of about 246,000, Glendale maintains and operates four water treatment plants, two wastewater treatment plants, 1,040 miles of water lines, 703 miles of wastewater lines, 8,400 fire hydrants, and 62,600 water meters.

GOODYEAR - Serving 78,000 residents, Goodyear has four water treatment plants, three wastewater treatment plants, 308 miles of water lines, 327 miles of wastewater lines, 3,228 fire hydrants, and 18,994 water meters.

MESA – Providing water to 501,137 residents, the city maintains and operates two water treatment plants, three wastewater treatment plants, 2,450 miles of water lines, 1,750 miles of wastewater lines, 20,248 fire hydrants, and 149,410 water meters.

PEORIA – Serving 171,700 residents, the city has two water treatment plants, three wastewater treatment plants, 1,179 miles of water lines, 789 miles of wastewater lines, 10,093 fire hydrants, and 59,105 water meters.

PHOENIX – With a population of 1.6 million and handling wastewater treatment operations for 2.5 million residents in five cities, Phoenix’s vast infrastructure includes 7,000 miles of water lines, 5,000 miles of sewer lines, eight treatment plants, dozens of pump stations, reservoirs, and wells, 50,000 fire hydrants, and more than 420,000 water meters.

SCOTTSDALE – With a population of almost 250,000, Scottsdale delivers water through 2,000 miles of pipes and maintains more than 10,000 fire hydrants and 91,000 meters. Its wastewater system comprises 1,400 miles of lines and more than 40 lift stations.

TEMPE - Serving 176,500 residents and an additional 80,000 students when Arizona State University is in session, Tempe’s infrastructure includes two water treatment plants, 846 miles of water lines, 579 miles of wastewater lines, 8,982 fire hydrants, 43,231 meters, and one wastewater treatment plant.

For 55 years, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information, visit www.amwua.org .