Apr 06 2020Share

The Importance of Being Water Aware

By AMWUA Staff

We use water every single day, and that is why it’s important to realize that those daily choices affect our future.

With the arrival of April, we celebrate Water Awareness Month, which is a perfect opportunity to learn more about water in Arizona.

Water Sources Bring Sustainability
How can so many people live in the middle of the desert? Well, it’s because we are acutely aware that we must continually plan and invest to ensure safe, reliable, and sustainable water supplies for today and the future. That is precisely why the cities understand the importance of a diverse water portfolio and have invested in multiple sources of supply rather than relying on just one, like many areas across the country.

Here in the Valley, the water the AMWUA cities utilize comes from the Colorado River, and the Salt and Verde Rivers, along with a small portion of groundwater. We also utilize reclaimed water for irrigating sports fields, golf courses, commercial landscapes, and to create or restore riparian habitats. By having multiple sources of supply, the cities are better prepared for the long-term, as well as any short-term challenges that may arise. The wellbeing of our communities and economies depends on the reliability of water, especially when living in a desert.


Drought vs Shortage: What is the Difference?
The terms drought and shortage are commonplace in conversations across the arid State of Arizona and although they are used together regularly, they are uniquely distinct.

Drought is a prolonged period of less than average precipitation - meaning we are accumulating less moisture. A shortage is an inadequate amount of water available to meet demands. A shortage is not necessarily tied to the weather. Although both involve a lack of water, their circumstances, impacts and the challenges they bring differ.

Arizona has been in a drought for over 20 years. And while these conditions are concerning, they are not unexpected. Limited precipitation and extended cycles of drought are normal in the desert.  That is why the AMWUA’s members have planned, built, and managed their communities and their water supplies with that in mind, ensuring adequate water to meet the needs of their residents and businesses through the past two decades and into the future. 


We are in This Together
Being efficient with the water we have is up to all of us. Conservation is not the sole responsibility of urban homeowners but also relies upon our collective commitment in all areas across the State – residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural – to use water wisely. To achieve sustainability for our way of life in our desert climate we need everyone, from border to border and top to bottom, to pitch in and do their part.

We can all make a difference in our future by making small changes, starting today. The availability and quality of our water supply are critical to our quality of life and our State’s sustainability and economy.


AMWUA Cities are Committed to Collaboration
With an understanding of how critical water is for life in the desert, mayors from Valley cities gathered to discuss water issues back over 50 years ago. In 1969, they formed a unique and innovative partnership. Over time it would become a collaboration of ten cities working for the common purpose of protecting water resources in the Valley.


The Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and water conservation partners from around the state, like the AMWUA cities, celebrate Water Awareness Month (WAM) every April. The WAM website is “overflowing” with ideas and activities to help you learn more about water conservation and become more aware of our State’s most precious resource, water.

It’s important that we are always water aware, which is why we continually strive to provide information and resources about all aspects of Arizona’s water including the issues, policies, management strategies, drought, and conservation. Stay up to date and be water aware by signing up for the AMWUA Blog:

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For over 50 years, 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

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