/ Modified jun 20, 2023 4:16 p.m.

Tucson releases draft water plan

The city is now asking for the public to provide feedback on the draft plan.

Colorado River near the Silver Bridge A view of the Colorado River near the Silver Bridge on the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park. From November 2022.
AC Swedbergh / AZPM

The One Water 2100 draft plan is now available for public comment. Tucson Water crafted 40 strategies that are meant to better manage the city’s water supply through groundwater, stormwater, surface water and recycled water.

As of last year, 83% of Tucson’s water supply came from the Colorado River, an over-allocated water resource. However, since the early 2000s total water use has declined despite population growth, according to the plan.

This new draft utilized public comments and feedback as a primary source to learn more about what were high priority levels for the area. Of the 16 strategies that had a high priority rating were:

  • Expanding stormwater projects to meet large scale needs
  • Advocate for Tucson’s allocation of Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project in state and federal negotiations
  • Accelerate groundwater cleanup efforts so supplies are more available
  • Begin purifying recycled water to drinking water standards

“Public engagement is a distinguishing feature of the One Water approach,” John Kmiec, Director of Tucson Water, said in a press release. “Our goal is to create greater water resilience in Tucson. The community has provided valuable feedback and guidance that steers the One Water 2100 Plan in that direction.”

Updates to the city’s approach to water are made about every 10 years. This plan will work in conjunction with the Climate action plan passed earlier this year. Residents may submit feedback regarding the plan until July 21st.

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