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What does the Colorado River shortage mean for ... my pocketbook?

Leading up to the expected Colorado River shortage declaration in August, the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute will be posting information about what the shortage will mean for Arizona communities. This is part four. The rest of the series is available here.

The cost of water will very likely increase.

  • Your water bill comes from your local water utility. Most water utility costs are related to infrastructure — water mains, pumps, tanks, treatment plants, and meters, for example — but the cost of wholesale water supplies is also significant.
  • The Central Arizona Project delivers Colorado River water on a wholesale basis to some, but not all water utilities in Central Arizona. The cost of these deliveries is passed on to customers.
  • The cost of wholesale Colorado River water delivered through the Central Arizona Project will increase due to shortages.
  • Different water utilities depend on wholesale supplies from the Central Arizona Project to varying degrees. Those that are more dependent will experience cost increases that are relatively higher.
  • Many water utilities have access to alternative supplies — groundwater, reclaimed water, and Salt and Verde River water, for example — but alternative supplies and the infrastructure necessary to deliver them may be more expensive, and increased costs will be passed on to customers.
  • Your property tax bill may increase if you live in a subdivision that is a member of the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (also called CAGRD; check your property tax records or the Arizona Water Blueprint) because the district partially relies on Colorado River water to replenish groundwater pumped for its members and may need to acquire more expensive replenishment supplies.

Check out the links below for more information:
Community Water Systems Web MapIdentify water providers in your area and view contact information, service areas, wells, annual reports, and system water plans
Arizona Water And Wastewater Rates Dashboard
How CAP planned rate stabilization funds — How a shortage would impact water rates