Arizona, stressed by years of drought, has declared its housebuilding boom will have to be curbed due to a lack of water but one of its fastest-growing cities is refusing to give up its relentless march into the desert – even if it requires constructing a pipeline that would bring water across the border from Mexico.
The city of Phoenix announced its plans Wednesday to recycle wastewater for drinking purposes in the near future as Arizona is on the heels of even more cuts due to the shrinking Colorado River.
The plan is set to be implemented within the Valley by 2030.
One Arizona water official said Phoenix won’t require residents to conserve water yet, fearing that the action wouldn’t actually benefit the Colorado River and instead would be diverted to other states struggling with drought.
Cynthia Campbell, the water resource management adviser for the city, told WBUR’s Peter O’Dowd that the city won’t mandate that its residents save water by initiating bans on watering lawns. It will, however, pay residents to kill their grass and replace it with a more drought-resistant landscaping option, like gravel.