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Scottsdale City Council moves to help amplify statewide Arizona water conservation efforts

Photo of water at Scottsdale City Council chambers
Emboldened through ordinance No. 4606, Scottsdale City Council has signed into local law a prohibition of natural grass in the front yards of new single-family homes constructed or permitted after Aug. 15. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress.com)
Scottsdale City Council OKs ordinance No. 4606 to limit certain landscapes
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Scottsdale City Council has approved what City Hall officials are calling a significant step toward amplifying the municipality’s water conservation efforts by adopting an ordinance that limits water-intensive landscapes at new single-family homes.

Emboldened through ordinance No. 4606, Scottsdale City Council has signed into local law a prohibition of natural grass in the front yards of new single-family homes constructed or permitted after Aug. 15 — a measure supported unanimously local governing board.

City leaders say the effort is a nod toward collaboration with Colorado Basin Municipal and Public Water Providers to implement new water efficiency practices.

Feedback gathered from Scottsdale Water customers in June found that 86% support the initiative, prompting the adjustment to the city’s revised code.

The Phoenix metropolitan area — and, in whole, the Grand Canyon State — experienced a cold and wet winter, but the truth is water policy experts are reporting dire natural implications of historic drought conditions impacting what policymakers call ‘the lower basin states.’

These seven states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — rely significantly upon water allocations provided by the flow of the Colorado River.

“The City Council’s decision further establishes Scottsdale’s commitment to sustainable water management,” said Brian Biesemeyer, Scottsdale Water executive director. “By adopting this ordinance, Scottsdale aims to lead the way in water conservation practices, setting an example for other communities across the region.”

In 2022, the city set out to reduce municipal water use by at least 5% and asked residents and businesses to do the same. In 2023, Scottsdale again challenged its water customers to save 5%. In the first six months of this year, city government operations led the charge, reducing water use by 9% when compared to the average past three years. Residents and businesses stepped up as well, reducing water use by 7% when compared to the average past three years and 5% better than last year. Those results combined to save about 657 million gallons of water.

“When we all work together to save a little, the totals can be quite amazing,” said Mr. Biesemeyer.

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