Drought Resiliency and Preparedness

The Western United States, including Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area, has been experiencing a drought for more than 20 years, with an official drought declaration in June 1999. Drought is a normal occurrence in the desert southwest. However, On August 16, 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced it will elevate the Colorado River System to a “Tier 1” shortage status for 2022, meaning less water supplies available to Arizona. See the announcement

Due to Arizona’s priority system, our city supplies will not experience a reduction. This shortage declaration does not mean a shortage at your tap.

See the response from Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and the Central Arizona Project (CAP)


Our water supply is secure.

Together with the private water companies that operate in Surprise, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and the Central Arizona Project (CAP), the city’s water managers have been preparing for a shortage on the Colorado River System for years. 

The city has also built a diverse and robust water portfolio for its water utility, including renewable surface water, groundwater and reclaimed water. 

We have a plan.

Surprise has a comprehensive and strategic Drought Preparedness Plan outlining short- and long- term strategies for managing and sustaining our water portfolio. 

While residents will not see a water shortage with this drought declaration, Surprise will likely enact its Drought Preparedness Plan for 2022, when the shortage status takes effect. 

Conservation increases our resiliency.

Conserving water has always been important in our desert community. To ensure sustainable growth, we must continue planning, investing and being efficient with the water we have. The city encourages residents to use water wisely and practice conservation techniques.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Get water conservation resources and learn about water conservation rebates at surpriseaz.gov/waterconservation 
  • City of Surprise water utility customers can track their water use through our WaterSmart® portal and set leak alerts. Access the portal through the “pay my utility bill online” option on our website at surpriseaz.gov/utilities
  • Find 100+ water saving tips at wateruseitwisely.com