Scottsdale asks residents to use five percent less water and conserve more

Scottsdale is asking all residents, businesses and visitors to conserve their water usage by at least five percent as the state is now officially in Tier One of a Colorado River supply shortage. 

The shortage was declared by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in August, with the implementation taking effect January 1, 2022. As a result, Central Arizona Project’s water supply will be reduced by 30 percent in 2022 - most of the cuts coming from agriculture.

While residents and businesses in Scottsdale will not see a shortage at their tap, everyone is asked to look at their water use and find better ways to conserve this precious resource. 

To help residents conserve, Scottsdale Water has a list of ways residents and businesses can save. Since 70 percent of residential water is used outside, residents are encouraged to take some simple steps today that can make a big impact throughout the year:5 Ways to Save

Adjust irrigation timers. Residents can sign up for a monthly reminder on adjusting their water by texting WHENTOWATER to 33222.

Sign up for WaterSmart. This new portal allows users to manage their water use and set up notifications. Go to and search “WaterSmart.

Convert grass areas. Arizona-friendly landscape requires less than half the water that grass requires. Plus, residents may qualify to receive a rebate for the conversion.

Create a water budget. By using water calculators such as, residents can determine how much they use and if their water usage is normal for their house/family size.

Request a free Outdoor Water Efficiency Check from an irrigation specialist. On average, Scottsdale Water experts can save a customer 4,000 gallons of water per month.

“Water conservation programs have been in place in Scottsdale for decades and many Scottsdale residents and business know their value,” says Scottsdale Water Executive Director Brian Biesemeyer. “Now we need to step up our game and take water conservation to the next level.  With less water coming to us from the Colorado River in 2022, we need to learn to live with less and that starts every time we turn on the tap, flush the toilet or start our irrigation systems.”  

Scottsdale was the first city in Arizona to declare Stage One of its Drought Management Plan (DMP); as of 2022, other cities have followed suite. This declaration started what is forecasted to be a multi-year plan as river projections are forecasted to remain the same or decrease in the coming years. 

At Stage One of Scottsdale’s DMP, water users are asked to reduce their water use.  At Stage Two, increased water use restrictions and mandatory water conservation may be imposed by the City to include imposing a water shortage surcharge on one or more of the customer sectors and potential additional mandatory water use restrictions on water customers.

The City is taking the lead in the community. With the activation of Scottsdale’s DMP, the City is finding ways to internally conserve water. In recent years Scottsdale Parks has significantly reduced turf and converted non-recreational grass areas to xeriscape; Facilities has converted faucets and toilets to low flow; and Scottsdale Water has audited different departments and facilities for water conservation efficiencies.

As part of the DMP, Scottsdale’s Drought Management Team is looking for better ways to conserve across the city and educate the public on better water conservation efforts.  Just as Scottsdale is asking residents to conserve, it too has pledged to save five percent above and beyond the measures already being implemented.  

By working together, Scottsdale can achieve maximum sustainability for a prosperous future. 


Scottsdale What Works Cities 2023 Gold certification

Subscribe to Scottsdale Update


Get the latest Scottsdale news & events in your inbox each week -- just enter your email above.

The Scottsdale Update printed newsletter is included in utility bills six times each year. Download recent issues below (PDF)

Scottsdale Video Network