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Scottsdale's Assured Water Supply

Historically, Scottsdale was 100 percent dependent upon groundwater for its water needs. In the mid 1980s, we adopted a water resources acquisition fee and began putting together a multi-faceted water resources portfolio intended to provide the community with a long-term sustainable water supply. This portfolio includes surface water supplies, groundwater resources, and reclaimed water.

Today, Scottsdale meets its customers’ water demands primarily with surface water. In 2009, only 20 percent of the City's water was supplied by wells and we reached safe-yield in our service area.  By not withdrawing more groundwater than is being replenished through natural or artificial recharge (safe yield), the City is demonstrating responsible stewardship of groundwater resources, helping to provide a reliable water supply for future generations.



In 1980, the State of Arizona adopted the Groundwater Management Act (GMA) to control the groundwater overdraft that was occurring in some portions of the State, mainly the urban areas of Phoenix, Tucson, and Prescott and the farming areas in Pinal County.  The GMA established a goal of safe yield by 2025 for the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA), which incorporates the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Scottsdale. Safe yield means balancing the amount of artificial and natural recharged into the groundwater aquifer with the amount of groundwater pumped out of the aquifer.

To help meet the safe yield goal, the GMA requires that anybody who wants to sell or lease subdivided land anywhere in an AMA must show the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) that an assured water supply (AWS) exists to meet the water needs of the development for the next 100 years. Scottsdale has proved that it has an assured water supply for its entire water service area. This means that any subdivision gets water from Scottsdale will not have to obtain its own independent certificate of assured water supply.

Arizona assured water supply requirements