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Arizona-Sonora Border Region

WMG continues to build community capacity to reduce water contamination through green infrastructure practices in the transboundary Upper Santa Cruz River watershed. Through our work in the 3 communities we placed green infrastructure practices into the tool belt of Arizona-Sonora border region residents, making this simple technology accessible, affordable, and practical.  Click here to learn more about green infrastructure.

Earthworks educational workshop at Instituto Technologico de Nogales Rio Rico Community Partners at Anza Trailhead Summit View Elementary School - Community Partners Meeting

We spread these practices using the following methods:

  1. Implemented a demonstration site in each community to showcase green infrastructure practices through hands-on training workshops 
  2. Trained community leaders to design and install green infrastructure practices 
  3. Built community awareness about benefits of green infrastructure with a focus on reducing water contamination. 

Community Projects

Local leaders and organizations in the following communities have come forward to collaborate with WMG:

Instituto Technológico de Nogales (ITN), Nogales, Sonora -- Campus projects demonstrate the capture and utilization of stormwater onsite to reduce flooding issues, improve stormwater quality, beautify the campus, and engage students from a variety of disciplines.  Faculty and students from ITN have been central to developing waterharvesting system plans and designs and implementing systems through hands-on workshops.  Additional groups involved in the project include the Sonoran state water utility (CEA) and members from a coalition of organizations working to promote reforestation and environmental issues in Ambos Nogales (Asociación de Reforestacion de Ambos Nogales, or ARAN).

Water harvesting site assessment by students at the ITN campus. Installation of rainwater tank on campus Group photo - finished cistern install Checking water level after rainfall

Guy Tobin Memorial Anza Trailhead, Rio Rico, Arizona -- Water harvesting features capture stormwater alongside Rio Rico drive and the trailhead parking area and effectively filter stormwater pollutants, and reduce erosion, while irrigating native vegetation along the river corridor.  WMG worked with the property owner Rio Rico Properties, along with a number of community groups including Friends of the Santa Cruz River (FOSCR), the Anza Trail Coalition, Rio Rico High School Science Club, and Santa Cruz County,  to implement these passive waterharvesting systems throughout this large site.

Volunteers laying rock for reducing sediment flowing into Santa Cruz River. Pedestrian bridge after erosion control workshop and during storm. Newly created raised pathway serving as berm to capture stormwater at trailhead. Volunteers planting native trees along trail to utilize newly harvested stormwater.

Summit View Elementary School, Summit, Arizona -- Working with teachers, students, and parents, we created passive and active rainwater harvesting systems on the Summit View Elementary School campus.  Several of these waterharvesting systems were integrated with a schoolyard garden being developed by the school and the Community Food Bank, demonstrating how to use captured rainwater for food production.  

Volunteer helping to create water harvesting berms on campus Newly created water harvesting basins capturing rainwater from school and ramada. Trees planted to grow and shade play ground.

To learn more and/or to help support or develop more projects like these please contact WMG Sr. Program Manager, Catlow Shipek, 520-396-3266.

Project funding is thanks to a grant received from the Border 2012 program administered by the US EPA and Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC).