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Scottsdale is located within the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA), which is a determination 
created by the Arizona Department of Water Resources in response to the 1980 Groundwater 
Management Act (GMA). The GMA established safe yield, where groundwater replenishment equals 
groundwater pumped, as a goal to be reached in the Phoenix AMA by 2025. Through multiple strategies, 
including reduced reliance on groundwater, increased use of renewable water supplies and aggressive 
groundwater recharge, Scottsdale was the first city in Arizona to reach safe yield and has done so every 
year since 2006 – nearly 20 years ahead of the state-mandated deadline to do so.   

Scottsdale Water was one of the first cities in Arizona to implement aggressive, organized conservation 
efforts and established a formal Water Conservation Office in 1982. Ordinances passed in the early 
1980s, which included prohibitions on wasteful water features and turf in model homes, helped 
engender a water conservation culture and awareness that continues today.   

Scottsdale is the only utility in Arizona to offer rebates for water softener removal and WaterSense 
urinal installations. It is also the only water utility in Arizona to implement a data-based program to 
encourage customer awareness and engagement related to their water use. The two-year pilot program 
with WaterSmart software was launched in spring 2016 and includes customer communication tools, a 
comprehensive utility dashboard and extensive monitoring and analytics capabilities. The data and 
findings from the pilot program will be reported to Scottsdale’s regional partners to help other utilities 
assess the efficacy of implementing similar programs.  

Scottsdale Water’s main hub is our 145-acre, award-winning Water Campus. It is the first true water 
campus in Arizona and has a 70 million gallon per day (mgd) water treatment plant, a 20 mgd water 
reclamation facility, a 20 mgd advanced water treatment facility, a groundwater recharge facility with 63 
vadose recharge wells and a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory.   

The Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) facility at the Water Campus is one of the largest and most 
sophisticated indirect potable reuse facilities in the world and has been an industry leader in this realm 
since the facility began operation in October of 1998. In addition to water for aquifer recharge, the 
Water Campus provides reclaimed water to 23 golf courses, enabling Scottsdale to support its 
flourishing golf and tourism industry with a sustainable water supply. Tourism – including golf and luxury 
resorts – is a significant economic driver, contributing over $4 billion a year to the Scottsdale economy.  

In its original construction, the AWT had a production capacity of 14 mgd of highly treated, RO-
permeate recycled water. While the AWT was state-of-the-art and produced water that exceeded 
current regulatory requirements for open access irrigation and groundwater recharge, the city is always 
looking to the future and identified two issues that necessitated additional treatment technology and 
capacity:  Future regulatory expectations for a variety of emerging Compounds of Potential Concern 
(CPC) in the groundwater recharge, and  A desire from the golf courses to reduce the sodium levels in 
the finished water to less than 125 milligrams per liter (mg/l), which equated to more than a 50 percent 
reduction in what was currently being delivered in treated tertiary effluent.   

These issues culminated in increasing the reliable capacity of the AWT to 20.6 mgd and implementing an 
advanced oxidation process (AOP) to address CPCs. The AOP implements a stepped chloramination 
disinfection process, ozonation and a high-intensity ultraviolet photolysis system and has significantly 
reduced the presence of CPCs in recharge water. Today, Scottsdale Water delivers approximately 8.3