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Ongoing drought prompts Mesa to declare water shortage

The city said "Stage One" of its water shortage plan won't involve mandatory water restrictions for residents.

MESA, Ariz. — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.

Dire conditions on the Colorado River are prompting the City of Mesa to declare a water shortage and begin cutting back water usage at city facilities.

The city announced Wednesday it was initiating "Stage One" of its Water Shortage Management Plan due to the ongoing drought that's been plaguing Arizona's water resources. 

The first stage of this plan does not include mandatory water restrictions for residents since the city will only advise residents on how they can voluntarily cut back on their water usage. 

Stage one entails Mesa reducing water usage at city facilities and in landscaping areas. The city aims to reduce usage by 5% during the stage one phase, according to Mesa's plan. 

"In Stage One, we will work with businesses and residents to demonstrate ways to adapt and learn to use less water," said Mayor John Giles in a statement. 

Stages two and three of the water plan could include stricter measures like restrictions on when residents can wash cars or water lawns. 

Stage four could trigger restrictions on residential swimming pools. 

The city said these measures are needed as Mesa's primary sources for water become increasingly unreliable. 

Mesa's main sources of surface water come from the Colorado, Salt, and Verde rivers. 

The federal government announced earlier this year it would withhold water in the Colorado River's major reservoirs in order to protect water levels from dropping further. 

The Colorado was recently named the most "at-risk river" in the country due to the region's drought conditions and over-allocations of the river's resources. 

More information about Mesa's water resources can be found here. 

RELATED: Next stage of water restrictions in Arizona could come as soon as August

RELATED: In drought-stricken West, officials weigh emergency actions

SCORCHED EARTH

12 News, along with sister stations across Western states, set out to understand the dire conditions Arizona and other states face as drought and wildfire continue to rage.

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