Southwest Environment

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Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science
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‘Conserve to Enhance’ puts conserved water into local watershed

By Evan Kipnis

The Watershed Management Group has partnered with the Sonoran Institute and the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research center to launch the Conserve to Enhance Program this past January with the goal of bringing real conservation and environmental benefits to Tucson.

The goal of this new program is to allocate real water saved by Tucson residents to riparian restoration efforts. Some residents have been concerned that by using less water, they could be encouraging additional development as water becomes available.

“Some people want to see benefit in their local environment,” said Catlow Shipek, senior project manager for Watershed Management Group. “It takes you, as a consumer, to become a steward of your local watershed,” Shipek said.

The pilot program has allowed participants to track their water use and make donations of water conserved to improving Atturbury Wash. The wash is in east Tucson and crosses Golf Links Road near Sarnoff Drive. Donations are made voluntarily by those participating in Conserve to Enhance and tracking the saved water is assisted by Tucson Water.

Anyone interested in participating in this program should contact WMG at the email c2e@watershedmg.org. The next round of enrollment begins in 2012.

RELATED LINKS

Water harvesting efforts increase over time in Tucson

Watershed Management Group website

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