Peoria is among the majority cities of Arizona experiencing drought for more than 15 years. Unlike the problems Californian cities face, the little city of Peoria’s water supply remains stable, their economy growing continuously.
Planning for drought for years, Peoria and Arizona have been able to meet the effects of drought. Peoria is unique even in its own state because of the “Principles of Sound Water Management” policy adopted by the City Council in 2007.
The policy requires the city to recharge, direct reuse of reclaimed water for landscaping and other non-drinking water needs; mandates the planning and building of quality water infrastructure.
AZ Central reports:
“Peoria’s water resources portfolio, acquired through decades of planning and foresight by city leaders, is a study in diversity. Like a well-balanced mutual fund, Peoria depends on a variety of replenishable sources of water including; Central Arizona Project (CAP) water, Salt River Project (SRP) water and recovered (well) water.
CAP water supplied 41 percent of Peoria’s water in 2014. The CAP canal transports Colorado River water that originally fell as snow in the Rockies…Additionally, Peoria, and the Arizona Water Bank store CAP water underground to be pumped if Colorado River water supplies are curtailed.
SRP water accounts for 33 percent of Peoria’s supply. This water originates in a different watershed than the Colorado. If SRP surface water were to run short, SRP has 250 wells to make up the difference. However, SRP water can only be served “on-project,” meaning lands pledged as part of SRP over a century ago. Mostly those member lands are in southern Peoria.
Recovered water pumped from underground aquifers through Peoria’s wells is 24 percent of Peoria’s supply. Each year, Peoria stores more water underground than it recovers. This water is “banked”, just like a savings account for future use. Well water is part of Peoria’s reserve supply, and gives the city operational redundancy. If any one source is stressed, the system can be tuned so that other sources make up the difference…
Drought is a recurring natural part of living in a desert. But good planning will carry Peoria through it.”
Peoria is a great example of good infrastructure asset management planning, and as a result, this little community has plenty of water available to it, both for the present and the future.
It is interesting to note that Peoria hasn’t arrived in this position overnight.
Like most of good infrastructure asset management the results have been achieved steadily over more than a decade.
PHOTO CREDIT: Joe Hackman via Flickr Creative Commons License. The photo has been cropped to fit website requirement.