With more houses, parks, neighborhoods, and people every year, water conservation in the city of Peoria has become a topic of concern.
Peoria, Arizona is a city with a growing population that has experienced exponential growth of 2.26 percent per year. A new park and lots of desert land leave government officials and residents wondering how to supply the increased demand for water.
"We have enough water to use, but never enough to waste," Cape Powers said, quoting the city water department motto. Powers serves as the water service director and is a member of the American Water Works Association.
An update to the Sustainability Action Plan is in the works, with increased input from not just different departments, but also from the community.
The action plan was last updated in 2016 and its goal is "a comprehensive strategy to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods, enhance the environment through responsible stewardship, and promote awareness and participation throughout the community."
One of the biggest changes to the Sustainability Action Plan is going to be the inclusion of community input, according to Victoria Caster, sustainability and water conservation coordinator. Members of the community will be able to say what they think is important in the new plan.
"The hope is with the sustainability plan is for it to be a community-driven plan," Caster said "Part of this is making sure we're aligning our work and effort with what the community deems as important and sustainable"
This allows the community to be involved and feel like they are a part of conservation and sustainability efforts.
Another big part of the new sustainability action plan is the creation of the 'green team.' This new team is a group of experts in different areas that come together to help improve sustainability and water conservation. They provide technical information.
"Sustainability can't be done with a team of one, it really has to be done with a team of many," Caster said.
The goal of Peoria's Sustainability Action Plan is to increase the sustainability efforts in Peoria and be sure there are enough resources for the growing population.
The city is doing many things to help conserve water in the area such as; water rebate programs, installations of LED streetlights, and more solar panels.
"There is tons of open desert and the idea is to grow smartly in those areas," Powers said, "part of growing smartly is to grow sustainably, to grow in a matter that doesn't waste resources."
The Sustainability Action Plan addresses these concerns and with community input in the new update, the community will get more involved and help the Peoria City Council know what success looks like.
The current plan is vague and doesn't highlight what success looks like, said Powers. It is hard to know when to stop when there isn't any measurement in what success looks like. The new plan will address these details and help the city of Peoria identify how successful these efforts have been.