We recently moved temporarily from semi-arid Payson to the naturally arid region of Santa Clarita/Valencia, Calif. -- a booming town of 150,000 to 200,000 well-choked with traffic, lying northwest of Los Angeles.
People say that the Phoenix area wastes water: In fact, the Phoenix folks are amateurs compared to those here in California. There is so much constant and excessive irrigation in the developed areas that algae grows in the gutters. Lush green lawns are soaked to the point that your shoes squish if you walk across them. Plain old mud is common in such areas.
Occasionally, plants die of over-watering.
In some places, I think Florida cypress trees would flourish very nicely, indeed. It appears that what is used in a day would actually last a week.
There is a strategy to wasting water -- if you do not "use" it, you will lose it.
This does not give Phoenix the right to waste as it does, but it might make sense to tackle the wholesale wasters here in California alongside the efforts to tame the relatively lower level of waste in Phoenix.
Allen N Wollscheidt, Valencia, Calif.