Cheryl Kroyer

Town of Carefree Vice Mayor Cheryl Kroyer.

Water, water everywhere! But why is there still a drought?

It’s a good question, and there are actually a couple of answers:

1. It takes more than one year of good steady rain to refill our reservoirs in Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Reservoir levels remain way below average and have fallen since last year. Plus, even in the best of years, the Colorado River water is over-allocated amongst its users.

2. The melting snowpack from Colorado is better than it has been in years but the ground under it, after years of drought, is so hard, the melting snow cannot be absorbed and we will lose most of it to evaporation.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGA), “rainfall in any form will provide some drought relief.”

The USGA gives the following analogy: a single dose of medicine can alleviate symptoms of illness, but it usually takes a sustained program of medication to cure an illness. Likewise, a single rainstorm will not break the drought, but it might provide temporary relief. A single soaking will provide lasting relief from drought conditions, but multiple rains over several months might be required to break a drought and return conditions to within normal range.

In Carefree, we are still in pretty good shape. Our aquifer is full and the CAP water we receive from Scottsdale is still flowing at required levels. But if the drought continues, this won’t sustain us forever. Using water from our aquifer is attractive, but the supply is finite. And if we drain it, when might the aquifer refill?

Now is the time to make sure we have water for years to come. Here are a few simple ways to do that:

  • Put a brick in your toilet’s water tank

  • Use the right amount of water for each load of laundry

  • Water plants correctly — only as needed and early in the morning or late at night

  • Install a low flow shower head

  • Check for and repair leaks

  • Turn off water while brushing your teeth — don’t just leave the water running

  • Take shorter showers

And monitor your water usage, which you can find how to do at You can also call Carefree Water at 480-488-9100 with any questions or for help.

Cheryl Kroyer

Vice Mayor, Town of Carefree

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