Today In Surprise

City of Surprise News

Posted on: August 16, 2021

Surprise residents won’t see shortage at the tap as BOR declares “Tier 1” Colorado River shortage

Drought Declaration 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today announced a Tier 1 shortage for Colorado River operations for 2022, meaning less water supplies available to Arizona. See the announcement, here. 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), here.

The city’s water managers, together with the private water companies that operate in Surprise, ADWR and CAP, have been preparing for a shortage on the Colorado River System for years. Surprise has a 100-year assured water supply designation from the State to ensure reliable water supplies that support responsible growth. This designation means that the city has shown continuous, physical, and legal availability of water, along with water quality and financial capability standards, to maintain water supplies. Our city’s private water providers are also required to have a 100-year assured water supply.

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

Additionally, Surprise has a comprehensive and strategic Drought Preparedness Plan outlining short- and long- term strategies for managing and sustaining our water portfolio. This plan is currently being updated and will help reduce the city’s vulnerability to supply reductions and increase our portfolio’s resiliency. 

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. At this stage, customers can expect to see extensive messaging on ways to help Surprise conserve water. 

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 

Learn more about the city’s water conservation program and drought preparedness at surpriseaz.gov/droughtmgmt.

See press release...
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