Historically, planning for water resources and land use have been conducted separately. Yet, where and how we build impacts water demand and the quality of water that nourishes our ecosystems and replenishes our supplies. Growing populations, deepening water scarcity and longer, more severe droughts are part of our reality. Collaboration within and among local governments is key to reducing potential shortages, managing costsĀ and ensuring healthy and resilient communities and watersheds.

While the Colorado River Basin states negotiate solutions to projected basin-wide shortage, local jurisdictions mustĀ  prepare for their own uncertainties concerning water, growth and community resilience.

Growing Water Smart (GWS), a joint-program of the Sonoran Institute and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Babbitt Center, is addressing a critical need by training and assisting communities to use land and water most efficiently as they grow and redevelop so people, nature and industry can thrive.


States Growing Water Smart

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Net Blue | Water Neutral Growth Ordinance

The Alliance for Water Efficiency reviewed communities throughout the United States that currently have a water demand offset policy or water-neutral growth policy in place. Findings and a literature review were released in… MORE ›

Water Smart Land Use Policy

In 2004, the citywide Comprehensive Land Use Plan was updated to improve the alignment between land development and water resources including: Revised tap fee structure to reflect water usage. Revised landscape requirements for… MORE ›

Native Plant Ordinance

Under the Amended Plant Ordinance, any project that affects plants from the specified list is required to submit a native plant program detailing the existing location and proposed treatment of each protected plant.… MORE ›