Current Status: Tier 1 for 2024

The Colorado River basin is in a Tier 1 Shortage for calendar year 2024. The announcement came from the Bureau of Reclamation based on projections for Lake Mead water levels. The shortage declaration means reduced water for some stakeholders who receive water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP); those stakeholders who receive a portion of their water from CAP include municipalities, agriculture, tribes, and others.

Understanding the Colorado River Supply (PDF)

While Scottsdale Water receives approximately 70% of its water supply from the Colorado River via CAP, only a very small percentage will be reduced at this tier of the shortage.


View Tier 1 Shortage FAQ Infographic

What does a Colorado River Tier 1 Shortage mean for Scottsdale?
  • Municipalities, Tribes, and Industrial water right holders will NOT be cut in a Tier 1 Shortage
  • Scottsdale Water will continue to deliver its normal water supply to its customers
  • Scottsdale Water will evaluate implementing Stage 1 of its Drought Management Plan where water conservation awareness efforts will increase
  • Commercial and residential fill stations may be shut down or restricted to those users residing outside Scottsdale's municipal boundary
How bad is Arizona's drought?

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, parts of Arizona are in a Moderate Drought. While the Colorado River Basin, which supplies the water to CAP, received around a normal snowfall during the 2023-2024 winter season, water runoff in the Rocky Mountains has recently been more complicated to predict due to aridification of the climate. Even a few good years won't reverse the challenges on the Colorado River system. The Colorado River system is in a 20-plus year drought that continues to stress the system. Ultimately, long-term drought and climate change means less Colorado River water available to Arizona.

Will there be any changes to my water service?

As a resident or business within the Scottsdale city limits, there will be no immediate changes. The majority of Scottsdale's CAP water allocation will not be cut in a Tier 1 shortage. Scottsdale Water has planned for this event for decades by investing millions of dollars into its infrastructure, executing a diverse water resource portfolio, and creating a robust conservation program. But even with planning, Scottsdale residents and businesses are urged to maximize conservation efforts to ensure long term resiliency.

Will I have to cut back on my water use?

No. Residents and businesses are not affected in a Tier 1 Shortage and will not be restricted on their water use at this time. Scottsdale's Drought Management Plan does not affect an individual water user until a Tier 2 Shortage is declared. Should a Tier 2 be declared, Scottsdale will evaluate the need and potential to implement restrictions. However, conservation is always encouraged and highly recommended to preserve this precious natural resource; better conservation practices today will lead to more water in the future.

How is Scottsdale preparing?

Scottsdale Water has had the vision to plan and protect our water resource for the future. Not only does Scottsdale have one of the most advanced reclaimed water facilities in the US, but is increasing water storage capacity in our aquifers, investing in automated meter readers to empower customers to reduce water use, and is expanding conservation programs to inspire citizens to conserve more. Every drop matters and it starts in Scottsdale.

What can I do?

EVERYONE can make a difference... and every drop counts. View a list of Scottsdale's Conservation Programs to see what you can do. You can also go to our Residential Water Use page to find more ways you and your family can help conserve our precious water resource.

Colorado River Forecast

The US Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) both monitors and declares any shortages for the Colorado River. Below is latest information and projections by the BOR for Colorado River levels at Lake Mead.

lake mead elevations - august 2023

Last Updated: Jun 27, 2024

Was this page helpful?
Tell us how we can be more helpful.

Scottsdale Water Resources

9312 N. 94th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85258


Monday 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
City Holiday Schedule
Back to Top