When you buy your food, you can see signs and labels where your avocados were grown, or the location of the dairy that produced your milk. But when you get a glass of water, it can come from a variety of sources in Arizona.
Surface water: For many people in Arizona, this means water that comes from the Salt, Verde, or Colorado rivers. Much of Arizona's supply of Colorado River water is delivered through the Central Arizona Project. Surface water is water—– from snow or rain — that comes from rivers such as the Colorado River is collected into reservoirs and ultimately delivered to homes, businesses and other water users. Surface water often comes from hundreds or even a thousand miles away.
Groundwater: This is water that is percolating underground, through and between the soil and rocks into an aquifer. Groundwater is pumped from the aquifer using wells often more than 1,000 feet deep.
Effluent: In addition to surface and groundwater supplies, we collect and treat wastewater that can be directly reused for non-drinking purposes or recharged into the aquifer. Many parks and golf courses are watered using treated effluent.
Finding your source
To learn where the water you drink comes from, check your annual
Water Quality Report. Inside the report, you'll see a detailed analysis of what's in your water, as well as the source.
The drought and your water
Much of the discussion about the drought is related to California or the Colorado River water supply, and the possibility of restrictions on water from the river.
But if your water only comes from wells, it doesn't mean you're completely immune to the drought. Water leaders across Arizona and New Mexico have established plans to manage water should the drought continue. And we have very robust water supplies that mean we're prepared for years, even during this drought.