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Phoenix proposing new water-saving measures

The City of Phoenix is proposing new water-saving measures dealing with pools, water meters, and land annexations.

PHOENIX — The City of Phoenix is proposing the first set of new rules and regulations designed to help the city save water in the midst of a record-setting drought, one of which includes stopping the city's geographic growth. 

Up to now, the city has focused primarily on education and asking people to conserve water. 

The new regulations would deal with pools, water meters, and businesses that use large amounts of water.

Water Meters

About 70% of the water used in an average household is used outside of the house.

That means most of the water is typically used for services like landscaping.

City officials are proposing installing two water meters on new homes in order to separately track indoor versus outdoor water use.

The hope is that, by identifying where the most usage is, people can decide to cut down on their own. 


City officials want a plan that deals with pools...but that's as far as they've gotten. 

The proposal calls for city staff to start thinking about rules dealing with pools, most likely pool size. 

Deputy City Manager Alan Stephenson said the proposal would most likely deal with ostentatious pool sizes. 

“It is something that, you know, staff is making sure we are taking a look at," Stephenson said, "but we're not really sure where that policy is going to end up yet."


Stephenson said the city also wants to talk to the biggest water users in the city to try and find ways for them to use less water. 

Stephenson used the new TSMC microchip plant in North Phoenix as an example. 

He said the city met with TSMC representatives about water use and the company decided to build a water recycler at the new property. 

Stephenson said he hopes other businesses can follow suit.


Finally, Stephenson said Phoenix will not grow its boundaries as long as there's a Stage 1 drought declaration. 

He said the plan is for the city to stop annexing any more land in order to reduce the strain on city water.

“We can make sure that we are preserving the water resources we have for existing residents and to serve the land that's undeveloped," Stephenson said. 

He also said halting annexation shouldn't affect the city from growing economically, as there are still large amounts of undeveloped land in the city limits. 

Those proposals should be presented to the city next week. 


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