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Mesa aims to save millions of gallons of water after declaring water shortage

Mesa recently declared itself to be in the first stage of a water shortage due to historic drought, climate change and overallocation of the Colorado River.

But the city is not yet ordering residents to cut back on usage.

Mesa’s goal is to save nearly 66 million gallons of water in a year with a 5% reduction of how much H2O city departments use.

Whether Mesa residents choose to help conserve water is voluntary. Stage 1 of the city’s shortage management plan is basically a heightened awareness campaign, said Water Resources Planning Advisor Kathy Macdonald. 

“When we get into mandatory measures, that is Stage 3 and Stage 4 of the plan,” said Macdonald.

Macdonald said Mesa declaring a water shortage is unprecedented.

The city plans steps such as using technology to reduce watering at parks and along streets to meet its conservation goal.

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Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.