The importance of investing in conservation
By AMWUA Staff
In Arizona, we understand the importance of water conservation. That is why the AMWUA cities remain committed to continually building upon past and current conservation efforts, so they can maximize the use of their water supplies, especially as we face a future with less Colorado River water.
Each municipality has created and invested in its own unique blend of water conservation programs, rebates, and resources to best serve their community. The cities continually seek to elevate their outreach and education efforts because focusing on wise water use never stops. However, that is not a simple task.
Together, the ten AMWUA cities serve water to 3.7 million people, more than half of the state’s population, and managing conservation programs tailored for that many residents requires significant time and labor. They currently accomplish this with a small group of conservation professionals who collectively administer more than 300 water conservation best management practices, highlighting their dedication to water efficiency in their desert communities.
Operating such robust conservation programs that include monetary incentives and rebates for their customers also requires substantial funding. The AMWUA cities have significantly increased their budgets for their conservation programs and added to their staff. However, more is needed, and a new funding source will play a vital role in ensuring conservation programs and projects, not just among the AMWUA cities but across the state, will be able to get a much-needed infusion of funding.
The Arizona Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) has officially opened a call for proposals for their new Water Conservation Grant Program that will disperse $200 million in grants for water conservation projects across the state. Eligible entities can apply for up to $3 million to fund conservation programs and projects that facilitate voluntary reductions in water use, increase water use efficiency, and improve reliability in water systems. This is an important initiative and something that the AMWUA cities plan to pursue, as financial support plays a critical role in elevating the conservation programs in their communities.
Increasing financial investments in conservation will enable cities to expand their programs for customers and look at new innovative ways to improve water efficiency in their own municipal operations. However, it’s important to realize that being responsible with our water is up to each of us. While the cities will continue to do their part, residents, businesses, and industries must also commit to efficiently using water - it’s crucial for the resiliency of our desert communities.
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For over 50 years, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has helped protect our member cities' ability to provide their communities with assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies. For more information, visit www.amwua.org.
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