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Scottsdale's Assured Water Supply


The State of Arizona adopted the Groundwater Management Act (GMA) in 1980 in an effort to reduce the groundwater overdraft that was occurring in the populous areas of the State, mainly in the urban areas of Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott. 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 water recharged into the groundwater aquifer with the amount of groundwater pumped from the aquifer.


To help meet the safe yield goal, the GMA requires that service area providers within an AMA must demonstrate to the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) that an assured water supply  exists to meet the water needs of the service area for the next 100 years. Scottsdale received its original Assured Water Supply Designation from ADWR in April 1998.


Historically, Scottsdale was 100 percent dependent upon groundwater for its water needs. The City adopted a water resources acquisition fee in the mid-1980s and began the development of a multi-faceted water resource portfolio intended to provide the community with a long-term renewable water supply. This portfolio includes surface water supplies, groundwater and reclaimed water.


Today, Scottsdale meets almost 90% of its customer’s water demands with surface water. The City reached safe yield in 2007 and has continued to do so every year. By maintaining safe yield, Scottsdale demonstrates responsible stewardship of its groundwater resources while continuing to provide a reliable and sustainable water supply for future generations.