by Laura Grignano, CAGRD Manager
The very nature of desert dwelling makes saving water a must – and that includes groundwater. The Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) helps protect our state’s precious water resources, replenishing the water CAGRD members pump with a renewable water supply and recharging our aquifers to ensure sound water management.
CAGRD supports and encourages water conservation. After all, less groundwater use by our members means less replenishment obligations for us. A corresponding reduction in the volume of water necessary for CAGRD to acquire means lower costs for CAGRD members.
Yet, CAGRD isn’t a water provider – we don’t deliver water to customers ourselves, and most of our membership doesn’t interact directly with us. So, we need to approach conservation differently. Right now, we’re in the process of reaching out to the water utilities which serve our members to look for partnership opportunities. We don’t want to duplicate their efforts but hope to work together to find new and innovative ways to help our members save water and money.
In the meantime, CAGRD has renewed its commitment to conservation in a couple ways.
In 2019, CAGRD commissioned a study to identify water use trends and opportunities for conservation strategies, as well as to provide broad recommendations to advance our conservation program. The report, “CAGRD Membership Water Demand Analysis for Water Conservation Planning,” was presented at a public CAWCD board meeting – the April 16, 2020 CAGRD and Underground Storage Committee meeting. Key takeaways included:
- the ideal time to influence home owner decisions regarding the largest water-consuming activities (landscaping and pool installation) is within three years of purchase;
- a conservation program should focus on single-family residences and homeowner associations (HOAs); and,
- CAGRD can maximize its conservation program by partnering with its water providers, home builders and management companies of HOAs.
Some of these recommendations will be accomplished through CAGRD’s sponsorship of the the Water Use It Wisely campaign, which reminds consumers to think about the water they’re using in their everyday life. This commitment will reinforce the important message of water conservation to those within CAGRD’s member service areas and member lands.
And after CAGRD receives feedback from the water utilities serving our members, we’re going to assess how we can develop new partnerships to collaborate and expand our conservation activities. We look forward to sharing news about our efforts as they materialize. Helping our members save money while protecting water in the ground is something definitely worth talking about!