Water Productivity of Phoenix Metropolitan Area Cities
Abstract. Water productivity (or efficiency) data informs water policy, zoning and planning along with water allocation decisions under water scarcity pressure. This paper demonstrates that different water productivity metrics lead to different conclusions about who is using water more effectively. In addition to supporting the population's drinking and sanitation needs, water generates many other public and private social, environmental, and economic values. For the group of municipalities comprising the Phoenix Metropolitan Area we compare several water productivity metrics by calculating the Water Value Intensity (WVI) of potable water delivered by the municipality to its residential and non-residential customers. Core cities with more industrial water uses are less productive by the conventional efficiency measure of water used per capita, but core cities generate more tax revenues, business revenues, and payroll revenues per unit of water delivered, achieving a higher water productivity by these measures. We argue that policymakers should consider a more diverse set of socio-economic water productivity measures to ensure that a broader set of values are represented in water allocation policies.
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