things with water conservation. Most, if not all of the water used comes from the aquifer and it is has risen since 1998. There is a stark difference when driving around Tucson and Phoenix. Phoenix has grass all over the place and lots of lush vegetation. There seems to be grass in the front and back yards of tons of Phoenix houses. Tucson uses mostly desert landscaping with very little grass (golf courses and parks being the outliers). There are rules in Tucson that make it against regulations to put grass in the front yard (its usually all gravel for those who are unaware), and most Tucsonans have moved to artificial turf in their backyards. Tucson isn't perfect, but they are definitely trying to make the city sustainable.
I haven't been to either city for a number of years (other than the airport in PHX) but yeah, I remember that about Tuscon. Always loved the way people would rock landscape their properties, gave it a real cool desert vibe to it. It started to became a bit of a trend in the Okanagan Valley where I grew up a number of years ago.
Yet Lake Mead, Lake Powell and other reservoirs water levels are still falling. The Colorado River Basin is in crisis, it can’t sustain the requirements of the surrounding communities.
Poor water management and lack of enforcement of the existing water management plan is a big problem. Some communities are playing by the rules, some going steps above and others are draining the reservoirs because they just don't care and that's a big part of the problem. Had all communities drawing water followed examples of other communities in water conversation, the situation wouldn't be where it is today.
John Oliver did a pretty good bit about this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtxew5XUVbQ
When you allow farmers to grow water intensive crops like Almonds in a desert what do you expect. This is abject stupidity IMO.