U.S. Water News Online
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Pima County supervisors have adopted a
tough new drought management plan that beefs up enforcement during
each drought stage and encourages water conservation even during wet
The plan includes a new ordinance, yet to be formally passed, that
would outline restrictions during dry periods, including fines for
But the plan seeks to cut water use across the county whether a
drought exists or not, including encouraging the use of low-flush
toilets and systems that use reclaimed water for irrigating parks and
"I like this ordinance because it does get tough if we have a real
drought," said Supervisor Ann Day. "We live in a desert, and drought
is something we have to deal with."
Supervisors are even considering distributing low-flow toilets to
owners of older homes as a way to encourage their use. They will vote
later this year on conservation measures for new construction, and
want county staff to come up with a plan that encourages people to
use low-water fixtures.
The county can affect water use the most by regulating indoor
plumbing fixtures, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said.
Adding toilet distribution could be more effective than offering
rebates, suggesting a program could be paid for with 1 percent of
Other measures that could save water include using more reclaimed
water for irrigation and tapping groundwater too contaminated to
drink for irrigation.
Supervisors are also asking for rules that encourage existing golf
courses to conserve water and measures to entice developers who have
permission to build golf courses to put that land to other uses.
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