Mayor Gallego on  water, future projects in ’State of the City’ address

Mayor Kat Gallego warned that Phoenix will have to tap into its groundwater supply temporarily, || Gage Skidmore

By Taylor Seely || The Arizona Republic

Water, jobs, housing, health, climate change. At least one of those things probably concerns you if you live in Phoenix.

Mayor Kate Gallego said a lot about these issues in her yearly “State of the City” address, but it boiled down to this: Phoenix’s leaders are going to be practical and navigate complicated issues.

The speech gives the mayor a chance to highlight the city’s successes in a room full of hundreds of prominent community members, like business owners, nonprofit heads and tribal leaders.

It’s basically a commercial selling the best of Phoenix, so inevitably, it paints a rosy picture — and not everyone agrees with the mayor’s portrayal. Still, Gallego touched on some troubling challenges Phoenix is navigating too.

Here’s what you need to know about what she said.

Water shortages are serious, so Phoenix is investing in new technology to reuse wastewater

The city gets 40% of its water each year from the Colorado River, but the river is shrinking. Phoenix is working on conservation, like requiring developers to build more efficient homes that use less water. Phoenix is also interested in reusing for drinking all the water that goes down your drains. The city wants to build an advanced purification facility to make that happen. The next step is seeing which other cities want to chip in, in exchange for water.

Learn moreabout Phoenix’s multibillion dollar purification plant

Gallego warned that Phoenix will have to tap into its groundwater supply temporarily. That’s a big deal because groundwater is finite — use it once and it’s done.

Critical roadway, transit projects are in jeopardy


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