Groundwater & Sustainability

Established in the late 1990s, the City’s extensive recharge program achieves sustainability by ensuring water levels in the aquifer remain stable. Therefore, the City can continue to pump groundwater to meet demands during peak times or water shortage periods.


The City’s Water Campus currently recharges the aquifer with reclaimed (highly treated wastewater) and treated CAP water through vadose (VZ) zone recharge wells.


The City also recharges treated CAP water through specially designed dual-use groundwater production wells (ASR wells). ASR wells pump groundwater just like regular wells, however they also deliver water into the ground.


Through recharge, the City is able to utilize its unused portion of CAP water. During summer months, Scottsdale water customers use all of the CAP water treated at Scottsdale’s CAP treatment plant. During winter when demand is lower, Scottsdale recharges the groundwater aquifer through the onsite VZ wells with the treated CAP water.


Scottsdale pumps groundwater from 25 production wells. The City’s groundwater use must be consistent with the Arizona Department of Water Resources safe yield goal: the City must replenish the groundwater aquifer with the same amount of water it extracted.