Chicago Construction News staff writer

The City of Peoria in Arizona has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 30 water providers across the West to protect the Colorado River system.

“This agreement reflects our steadfast commitment to adhering to smart, sustainable water policies; and, this agreement reaffirms our commitment to take all necessary measures to assure the continued prosperity of our communities,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat.

The MOU includes:

expanding water efficiency programs for indoor and outdoor water use
implementing programs and policies reducing and replacing non-functional, decorative grass by 30 percent while protecting urban landscapes and trees canopies
increasing water reuse and recycling programs where feasible
implementing water efficiency strategies and best practices, such as water loss controls, conservation-based rate structures, industrial and commercial conservation, land use coordination and other suitable conservation strategies

“As we consider the long-term aridification of the Colorado River Basin, the math is simple: water uses exceed water supplies,” said John Entsminger, General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. “But solving that equation will require all Colorado River water users across every sector to make hard decisions and be fully invested in water conservation if we are going to bring our shared river system into balance.”

In a joint letter of support, seven environmental, conservation, and non-governmental organizations called the MOU “an important step in the right direction,” further stating that “achieving these commitments is a necessary first phase to preserve the longevity of the Basin.”

“This problem is of the highest magnitude, but collectively we have the resources to find the solution,” said Brenda Burman, executive strategy advisor of central Arizona project. “The path forward will require all Colorado River water users to contribute, and Central Arizona Project continues to make investments and commitments to support the Basin to reach a sustainable water future.”