While we may never experience a water emergency, it is prudent to have measures in place which allow the City to prohibit non-essential water use to protect public health and safety.
Criteria for Declaring a Water Emergency
A number of factors will determine if a water emergency exists:
- Maintaining an adequate supply of water to meet demand
Tucson Water continually monitors water production and storage facilities throughout our distribution system.
- Existing and projected customer demand
Water demand is estimated daily, based on well pumpage rates, operational hours and reservoir levels.
- Weather forecasts
Tucson Water receives National Weather Service reports and extended forecasts every day.
- Ability to maintain fire protection flows
A minimum reservoir level necessary to provide fire-fighting water has been established.
- Catastrophic loss of supply
A major main break or loss of a production or distribution facility could reduce water supply.
- Estimated duration of the situation
Preparedness and response plans must be able to address short- and long-term disruptions.
Mandatory Conservation Measures
The ordinance prohibits:
- All outdoor irrigation, except for those areas irrigated with reclaimed water. If appropriate, an irrigation schedule may be implemented in place of the ban.
- Washing of sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, patios or other paved areas with water from a pressurized source, such as a garden hose. Exceptions may be made in cases where washing is necessary to protect public health.
- Water cooling systems that do not recirculate the water at least once. (Evaporative coolers that recirculate water more than once would not be affected by the ordinance.)
- Restaurants that serve water unless specifically requested by a customer.
- Filling of swimming pools or spas or operation of fountains, water-powered children's toys, or other water features.
- Washing cars, trucks or other mobile equipment except at facilities which recirculate wash water or for vehicles which require frequent washing to protect public health.
The City Manager can grant a variance in cases where serious hardship to the customer would result.
When a violation is observed, a written notice requiring the violation be corrected will be given to the customer. If the violation is not corrected, water service to the customer may be disconnected. A $250.00 fee may be imposed to reconnect the service, or a fine of no less than $250.00 may be levied. For additional information, call (520) 791-4331.