Arizona Department of Water Resources (“ADWR”) has declared a goal of sustainable water supplies by 2030, which means major water reductions for associations in the coming years. ADWR creates management plans designed to hold the state accountable for water use. They have prepared a total of 5 plans to be enacted over five decades (1980-2030).
Currently, Arizona is in the 3rd Management Plan. This plan affects HOAs with more than ten acres of turf. Water allotments for these communities are currently 4.9 acre feet/acre for turf, 1.5 acre feet/acre for low water use landscaped areas (desert landscaping), and 6.2 acre feet/acre for bodies of water. As it stands, this allotment is compatible with plant, turf, and tree water needs.
However, tighter water restrictions are ahead. The 4th Management Plan is set to commence in January of 2023. This transition promises small water reductions for communities with ten or more acres of turf. The allotments will be reduced to 4.75 acre feet/acre for turf, 1.5 acre feet/acre for desert landscaping, and 6.2 acre feet/acre for bodies of water.
The biggest water reductions will come with the 5th Management Plan, set to commence in 2025 or 2026. This will reduce water allotments for turf to 4.77 acre feet/acre, desert landscaping to .74 acre feet/acre, and bodies of water to 6.2 acre feet/acre. These restrictions are not compatible with medium+ plant density, non-desert adapted palettes, or overseeded turf. With these reductions, a large percentage of communities will need to make major changes, including minimal overseeding, plant removal/deaths, and plant palette changes.
What your Association can do:
- Reduce water-hungry turf to reduce overall water consumption
- Start talking now with residents about future water challenges
- Begin thinking about ways to reduce water use (e.g., transitioning to desert or desert-adapted plants, etc.) – check to see if your city or town has any programs/grants to help your association.
For more information on water rights for your association, you can visit the Arizona Department of Water Resources website at https://new.azwater.gov/. For more information on environmental matters pertaining to HOAs/Condo, review our Cheat Sheet entitled, Solar Panels & Creating a “Green Community”. To further discuss this matter, please contact Mulcahy Law Firm, P.C. via e-mail at email@example.com or call our firm at 602-241-1093.