Scottsdale asks residents to reduce water usage by five percent

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Arizona has reached a Tier One water shortage, and Scottsdale is implementing a drought management plan. The city is asking all residents, businesses and visitors to conserve their water usage by at least five percent.

As the Executive Director of Scottsdale Water, Brian Biesemeyer oversees five departments within the division: Planning and Engineering, Water Services, Water Reclamation Services, Water Quality, and Water Technology and Administration. 

Scottsdale implemented its drought management plan in Aug. 2021 after the Bureau of Reclamation declared a Tier One shortage on the Colorado River, Biesemeyer said. 

He said that in the desert, most of our water is used outdoors, so an easy way to cutback on water usage is to check on your irrigation timer.

Another easy way to save water is to complete an outdoor efficiency check, Biesemeyer said. Free outdoor efficiency checks can be found on the City of Scottsdale’s Water Department’s website, he said.  

They have rebate packages for people who want to remove turf and move to a xeriscape yard, Biesemeyer said. A xeriscape yard is a type of landscaping that reduces, or eliminates the need for irrigation.

They’re not asking for everyone to get rid of their grass, but they are encouraging people to remove decorative turf, he said.

“..it needs to be useful turf. There’s so much of that decorative turf around, that really can be replaced by much more water-sensitive, less water consuming vegetation, that can give you that green effect, reduce that heat island effect, and yet not require all the water that turf does,” Biesemeyer said.

Scottsdale plans to set the precedent first by pledging to save five percent in city facilities as well. Scottsdale’s parks have been water efficient for a number of years, he said.

Although reducing water use by five percent is only a request for now, Biesemeyer said that if the water shortage is upgraded to Tier Three, it could become a requirement. 

Brian Biesemeyer, Scottsdale Water Executive Director

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