Drought Dashboard

2022 Snapshot: Tucson Water's Colorado River Water Resources

Current drought status metrics

Tucson has enough water to thrive but never enough to waste. Our drinking water comes from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project. The Drought Preparedness and Response Plan has four tiers. Each tier has appropriate response measures for City operations and the community. We are currently in Tier 1 because the elevation of Lake Mead has dropped below 1075' above sea level. Despite the drought's severity, we are still saving water because our supply is greater than our demand. Conservation has made our community more resilient, allowing us to save decades of water in the ground. We've stored over five years worth of Colorado River water in addition to our other groundwater rights.


*An acre foot is 325,851 gallons of water, which is about a football field covered in a foot of water.

Water use per person

GPCD in Tucson

Tucson has among the lowest consumption per person of any city in the desert Southwest. The graph above shows that the Gallons per Capita per Day (GPCD) for our residential customers has been in the low 80s for the past five years. The total potable GPCD, which includes both commercial and residential customers, is currently 119. Tucson Water's education programs for adults and grade schools is one of many factors that have led to such a strong conservation ethic in our community.

Cumulative water saved through conservation (millions of gallons)

Tucson Water's conservation program provides rebates for high efficiency toilets, washer machines, and urinals. Rainwater harvesting and grey water rebates are also available. Incentive packages for irrigation and fixture upgrades can be customized for commercial customers. The conservation program has saved over 3.5 billion gallons of water since 2009 (see the Annual Conservation Program Report for more details).

Water use guidelines

Tucson Water customers use more water in the hot, dry summer months and less in the winter. The graph above shows the average water consumptions for all residential customers on a monthly basis. You can compare this to your consumption by looking at the utility services statement that comes in the mail or logging into the online payment portal.


*A centric cubic foot is 748 gallons of water

The City leads by example

The City has been conducting water audits and proposing efficiency measures for its own facilities to lead by example. 91 audits of City facilities have been conducted so far. Following through on recommendations like toilet replacements, irrigation repairs, and improving cooling tower efficiency saves the City money and water. Parks & Recreation have also been replacing drinking fountains in order to stop leaks and provide a better experience for the public. The proposed recommendations from the latest round of audits could save as much as 14 million gallons of water per year.

One Water 2100

Drought preparedness is one aspect of Tucson Water's long range planning effort. One Water is a nationally recognized approach to managing multiple water resources and recognizing that all water has value. If you'd like to help shape our water future please sign up here: tucsononewater.com/get-involved