By Warren Tenney
AMWUA works to provide reliable and useful water information and now we have help from a new website called Arizona Water Facts. The website offers a realistic guide to where the state’s water comes from, how it is conserved, what problems the state faces in the future, and what fixes are in the works. The Arizona Department of Water Resources, the state’s top water agency, developed Arizona Water Facts.
Every time there is a media story about drought or California water restrictions or Lake Mead’s falling water levels the Arizona Department of Water Resources is flooded with calls. The most common questions: Is Arizona running out of water? Why doesn’t Arizona have water restrictions like California? Why are farmers allowed to grow crops in Arizona? By the end of 2015, the Arizona Department of Water Resources began developing a website dedicated to helping residents understand basic water facts and challenges. It debuted June 1.
There was a time when Arizona water agencies and utilities quietly – and without much publicity – went about the daily and complex business of conserving water, shoring up water supplies, reliably delivering drinking water to customers and removing wastewater from their homes. Then came a 16-year drought, a water crisis in neighboring California, and the very public decline of Lake Mead, a reservoir on the Colorado River that provides 40 percent of Arizona’s water. Suddenly water was everyone’s business.
Arizona’s quietly vigilant water community was in the spotlight trying to explain the intricacies of water- with its legal complexities, acronyms, and technical jargon – to a public that wanted quick answers in language they understood. Cities began to expand their customer relations, AMWUA started its weekly AMWUA Blog, water experts began appearing more often on news shows and in news articles. Everyone took to social media. Now, the Arizona Department of Water Resources is adding a website to help state residents understand water.
Yes, the Department already has an agency website, but it’s a technical site built to serve water utilities and water experts. Residents can find answers to their questions on the agency website, but the answers are often buried in studies and reports. Arizona Water Facts is a place where anyone can get quick answers to their water questions and find links to information and other organizations if they want to know more. Here is how the new Arizona Water Facts website can help you, your organization, or your business.
- Get the Facts: Here’s a chance to get straight talk from the experts about the latest water news. The site also offers facts about Arizona’s history as a leader in regulating and conserving water and how that far-sighted work has helped the state cope with a 16-year drought.
- Understand the Challenges: The site points out the challenges the state faces to maintain water supplies in urban, agricultural and rural areas, why the state faces these problems, and what is being done to fix them now and over the next 25 years and beyond.
- Meet the Experts: Hear from water professionals working with state agencies, city utilities, community groups and non-profits around the state. These experts are helping people in urban centers, agricultural communities, and rural areas to work together and find ways to live within their water means. Some have been successful for decades, while many are developing new and innovative programs to meet immediate needs.
- Get Involved: The new website provides a quick and easy guide to water in Arizona but it also offers links to information if you want to go deeper into a particular subject. There are links to workshops, events and water conservation rebates so visitors know what is available and can find a way to help.
The new website makes it quick and easy to have the facts in hand when the topic of water comes up in a conversation at a party or an HOA meeting, with your next-door neighbor or your boss. Take a look at Arizona Water Facts and see how it can work for you.
For 46 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information visit www.amwua.org.