Water cuts from the Colorado River water allotment continue to impact Arizona.
One proposed solution is using more gray water, this is water thats been used and can be used again for things like toilet flushing or landscaping.
Senator Priya Sundareshan, a Democrat representing District 18, teaches at the University of Arizonas law school.
A complex topic of discussion she talks about with her students: water.
Were starting to see that reality with Colorado River allocations being cut to every state in our western region, said Sen. Sundareshan.
Because of a pilot program in Tucson, a bill in the Arizona legislature is being heard by lawmakers that highlight Tucsons water conservation efforts.
Water that comes through showers and hook that up directly– that gray water directly into toilets- that is a partnership that this pilot program did with Tucson Water and with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, said Sen. Sundareshan.
Tucson Water said they recently surveyed 6,000 homes built with gray water plumbing.
They said they discovered only a handful of them had put the system to use and a large percentage of the homeowners didnt even know they had gray water plumbing.
University of Arizona Law student, Thomas Corrigan, specializes in water law. He said gray water recycling is just a dent in water conservation but should be in use.
I think gray water gives us that opportunity where a single-family home has the opportunity to recycle and reuse that water for other purposes. So, we should take advantage of it, said Corrigan.
Tucson Water has an ordinance in place requiring new homes to have a gray water system.
If your home is an older build, Tucson water has a rebate program.
Sen. Sundareshan said she hopes these efforts will influence the rest of the state to put these types of rules in place.
That’s what the benefit of this pilot program was, was starting the ball rolling. And let’s do this not just in the new residential houses, but let’s expand this to multi-level residential houses or commercial buildings, said Sen. Sundareshan.