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Arizona Department of Water Resources Arizona's Official Web Site
Securing Arizona's Water Future

Drought Preparedness in Arizona

ADWR's Drought Program coordinates drought preparedness and

response activities through monitoring, state agency coordination,

and facilitation of local-level planning

arizona sunset
Photo by USDA-NRCS

Arizonans, along with others in the Southwest, are confronting the challenges of an ongoing drought that began in the mid 1990s. Arizona's investments in importing and storing water supplies for the major metropolitan areas have significantly buffered these areas from drought impacts. In addition, these areas have had water conservation requirements as a result of the 1980 Groundwater Code. In some parts of rural Arizona, however, drought conditions have had devastating personal and economic impacts over the past decade or more. The most urgent need for drought preparedness is in the rural regions of the state, where alternative water supplies are generally very limited and the economy is strongly affected by drought (particularly farming and ranching, recreation, tourism and forestry-related sectors).

ADWR's Drought Program takes a statewide approach to drought preparedness and response through the programs and activities described below.


glass of water Planning and Reporting for Water Providers


State statutes established in 2005 require drinking water providers to develop water supply, conservation and drought plans. The requirements also expand annual water use reporting to the entire state.

short term drought status map Drought Monitoring

The State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee gathers and evaluates drought, climate and weather data and distributes that information to land managers, policy-makers and the public. An important goal of the committee is to provide early warning of changes in drought severity. Arizona's drought status is updated weekly, monthly and quarterly.


people farming Local Drought Planning

ADWR has worked with local leaders to establish county-level drought impact groups. The goals of these groups are to monitor drought status and impacts in their area, increase drought public awareness, and develop local mitigation and response options.

Verde River Interagency Coordination


The Governor's Drought Interagency Coordinating Group is comprised of state, federal and non-governmental organizations. This group meets biannually and advises the governor on drought status, impacts, and any necessary preparedness and response actions, including recommendations about maintaining the current drought declarations.  


The Arizona Drought Preparedness Plan was adopted in 2004 and its continued implementation ordered in 2007 (EO2007-10). The Arizona Department of Water Resources prepares an Arizona Drought Preparedness Annual Report that summarizes drought conditions and drought preparedness activities for the water year (October 1 - September 30).






Contact information for Planning, Data Management, Drought and Conservation

Planning & Data Management: [email protected] or (602) 771-8585.

Community Water Systems: [email protected]

Drought & Conservation: [email protected]

Drought in your backyard Drought Meter