Federal government declares tier one for Colorado River in 2024; Scottsdale continues conservation efforts

The Bureau of Reclamation announced this week that the Colorado River system will be in a tier one water shortage for calendar year 2024; this will slightly increase Arizona's water supply compared to the tier 2a that the system is currently operating under.

The change comes after an abnormally wet winter during 2023, where water levels eased throughout the Colorado River basin. This year

Water levels also improved due to lower basin state water users, like Scottsdale, leaving substantial quantities of water behind the dam to boost Lake Mead.  Even with these improvements, the long-term forecasts still show decreases in the water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell due to overallocation of the river and aridification of the Desert Southwest.

What this means for Scottsdale

  • Scottsdale’s water supply will remain stable for 2024.  
  • The city will stay in stage one of its drought management plan.
  • The drought management team will continue to analyze water saving efforts internal to the city and find new ways to encourage all customers to save water.
  • Water conservation efforts and programs will continue to grow and be more visible to residents and businesses. 

With tier one in 2024, Scottsdale could receive approximately 1,000-acre feet more water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP) compared to 2023. 

The city also agreed to leave 6,000-acre feet behind Hoover Dam to help boost water levels. This agreement was made in exchange for financial compensation. The overall exchange will keep Scottsdale’s water supply fairly consistent with the 2023 supply, thus continuing the city’s efforts with water conservation. 

To learn more about what the Colorado River’s water shortage means for Scottsdale, go to ScottsdaleAZ.gov, search “Colorado River.”

Colorado River shortage graphic

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