Advanced Water Purification: Arizona’s answer to water scarcity

Arizona's Department of Environmental Quality introduces the Advanced Water Purification program to recycle water into drinkable water to combat scarcity, with Phoenix leading in implementation.
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November 3, 2023 — As the American Southwest continues to grapple with water shortages, Arizona is taking proactive measures to ensure a sustainable water supply for its residents. Yesterday, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced its Advanced Water Purification (AWP) programOpens in a new tab., which aims to transform used water into safe, drinkable water.

The Need for Advanced Water Purification.

With a booming population and recurring drought, Arizona often struggles to ensure adequate water supply for all its residents. The AWP program aims to offer a consistent source of clean water. By turning water that has already been used (for activities like washing dishes or showering) into pure drinking water, AWP offers a promising solution to water scarcity.

ADEQ’s primary objective, as highlighted by their top executive Karen PetersOpens in a new tab., is safeguarding the health of Arizona residents and protecting the environment. Thus, by introducing the AWP, they aim to meet these objectives by ensuring both a safe and sustainable water supply.

Phoenix Commits to Advanced Water Purification.

Phoenix, the state’s capital, is not just embracing ADEQ’s vision but is already in the midst of turning it into a reality. Mayor Kate Gallego Opens in a new tab.expressed her commitment to this project, stating that the city’s planned AWP facilities will produce millions of gallons of clean water daily, equivalent to 90 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This ambitious project, combined with other initiatives like water conservation and efficient city planning, plays a crucial role in ensuring a reliable water supply for Phoenix’s growing population.

In collaboration with ADEQ and other stakeholders, the Phoenix Water Department has been leading this revolutionary approach to water management. Two pivotal projects in this initiative are the proposed regional Advanced Water Purification facility and the upgrade of the Cave Creek Water Reclamation PlantOpens in a new tab.. Troy Hayes, the Phoenix Water Services DirectorOpens in a new tab., emphasized the commitment to water safety and quality, noting that the new facilities will employ advanced treatments that surpass the state’s strict water quality standards.¬† The Foothills FocusOpens in a new tab. reports, “The city of Phoenix will spend as much as $300 million to convert wastewater to drinking water, as the city council recently voted to spend $30 million to reopen its long-shuttered water reclamation plant in Cave Creek.”

Charting the Way Forward.

ADEQ envisions a collaborative approach for the success of the AWP program, seeking active participation from various stakeholders, including the public. Throughout November, they invite feedback and suggestions to refine the program further. The “roadmap” for the proposed program is available on ADEQ’s website.¬† Comments can be emailed to ADEQ (email address is published in ADEQ’s press release).



Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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