Gilbert puts water supply reduction management plan into action

A shortage in Lakes Mead and Powell means less water will be released from Glen Canyon and Hoover dams on the Colorado River in 2022. (Jason Gutierrez / Community Impact Newspaper)

The town of Gilbert activated on June 20 the first stage of its water supply reduction management plan in an effort to address worsening drought conditions in the Colorado River basin.

Town Manager Patrick Banger took the action as authorized by Gilbert Town Council and defined in the water supply reduction management plan. The plan calls for him to do so if there is a reduction to renewable water supply or if projected demand is greater than the upcoming year’s renewable supply.

Stage 1 of the plan focuses primarily on customer education efforts, but it also calls for municipal efforts to reduce its water usage.

The town will initiate an intensive water conservation public education effort with hopes of residential and commercial customers making voluntary reductions in usage. The town is to offer tools to help customers do so.

Municipal efforts include increasing the frequency of audits of internal facilities and landscapes for water use efficiency, prioritizing the installation of water-efficient technology in Gilbert-managed facilities and landscapes, and targeting and maintaining all Gilbert-managed landscape watering to be within 120% of suggested water budget for potable water sites and within 130% of suggested water budget for nonpotable water sites.

Gilbert officials stress there is no shortage of water at the town’s taps, and the town’s ability to meet the community’s needs is undiminished.

“Gilbert joins our neighboring municipalities in recognizing the seriousness of the current conditions on the Colorado River,” Mayor Brigette Peterson said in a statement released with the announcement. “At this time, there will be no mandatory water restrictions for residents, but it’s important we all begin to take active measures to conserve water in our community,” the town included. “We want to reassure residents that Gilbert has a sound plan in place to navigate what’s ahead. Water conservation is a way of life for all who call this beautiful desert home, and it’s more important than ever. ”

Town tools for customers include a water calculator to help customers determine what the household needs are, offering tips for watering the yard efficiently, and education efforts to help customers identify and repair leaks around the home.

The town has also launched a new information hub in conjunction with this stage that is available on the town website.

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