Water Policy


Docket Number is W-00000C-16-0151


Background: This August, federal authorities are expected to declare a shortage on Lake Mead. Due to extended drought conditions and over allocation of water rights, water levels in Lake Mead have been at their lowest levels since the reservoir was initially filled in 1935. A formal declaration will require water users in Arizona that rely on water from the Colorado River to curtail their usage and conserve.

The Arizona Corporation Commission, the state public utility regulators voted unanimously on July 14, 2021 to adopt two proposals from Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson. The policies will help the Commission prepare for a shortage declaration on the Colorado River and a future in which drought conditions, aging infrastructure, and water conservation will be unavoidable considerations in the ratemaking process for regulated water providers.

The first proposal institutes an annual Water Preparedness Meeting, which will keep the Commission informed of immediate water scarcity issues and infrastructure needs. The second proposal establishes a Water Task Force, composed of key stakeholders, which will evaluate an array of policy options and best practices and report back to the Commission with recommendations tailored for Arizona and its needs.


For more information on the matter of the Arizona Corporation Commission Investigation into Potential Improvements to its Water Policies https://www.azcc.gov/lmarquezpeterson/news/2021/07/19/arizona-utility-regulators-establish-water-preparedness-meeting-task-force-to-prepare-for-prolonged-drought-shortage-declaration-on-colorado-river