The Drought Contingency Plan aims to supplement our Water Resources Master Plan. This plan adds procedures and strategies for when our redundant water supplies may not be able to meet our needs because of years of below normal rainfall, a meteorological drought, have finally caused a water supply drought. A Drought Contingency plan is yet another resource we can use should a meteorological drought last for several years. The Plan provides ways for the City, businesses, and our residents to aid in water demand reduction when a water supply drought occurs.
A. Population Cluster Impact
Drought impacts municipal water systems much more quickly and seriously than agriculture because of the more immediate and continuous demand for water in cities and towns. Population clustering means drought in the urban setting has a greater immediate impact on a larger number of persons. The threat of drought to the people, and to the urban economy, results in extensive media attention and scrutiny of drought plans and responses. The failure to plan for such shortages of water is irresponsible.
A drought plan establishes the criterion for action and in doing so can ensure the least possible impact on the citizenry and economy. The responsibility of a city in a desert climate must show that it has a plan to deal with the effects of drought to be able to continue to attract business.
Not all uses of water are the same. Some uses, such as reserves for fire suppression, critical cooling applications, and medical necessity will have to take priority over less universally beneficial applications of the available resource, such as lawn and park irrigation, maintenance of decorative fountains, and cooling of outdoor recreation areas.
A Drought Plan gives City leaders the opportunity to react quickly and implement appropriate restrictions early, while making allowances to suit every situations specific needs.
E. Response to Citizens
The City of Peoria wants be sensitive to the needs of its citizens and water customers and wants to be sure that business interest and residential customers have the opportunity to respond in the same manner should drought conditions arise.
F. Water Resource Redundancy and Drought Impact
The foresight and planning of valley and City leaders has provided us with a diverse water resource portfolio. This water resource redundancy largely prevents heavy restrictions and guides drought planning by providing a variety of water resources, including those that do not depend solely on precipitation in Arizona. The drought plan will work in accordance with this water resource planning to supplement the water resource master plan when necessary.