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50 Year Program

In 2013, WMG launched our 50 Year Program to restore the heritage of year-round, free flowing rivers in southern Arizona.

Up until about the 1950s much of the Santa Cruz River and its tributary streams flowed year-round, allowing cities in Southern Arizona to flourish. Now our springs have diminished and many of our creeks and rivers only flow after heavy rains. We invite you to join us in forging a new path for Arizona’s water future.

A network for Tucsonans to join forces and restore our heritage of flowing rivers.Become an advocate for our desert rivers!

Hydro-regionalism—meeting a region’s water needs with renewable supplies from the local watershed—is a key tenet of WMG's 50 Year Program.Dig Deep - Learn about Shallow Groundwater areas

Resources to learn more about watershed health

This new WMG report, in partnership with Earth Economics, shows Sabino Creek is worth millions!Watch our short video—Restoring Hope: Get your feet wet in shallow groundwater.Learn more about the benefits and how to implement green infrastructure.

Visit our online Resource Library for more.

River Restoration news

WMG's Spring Newsletter "A Watershed Moment" newsletter cover
Dive into WMG's Spring Newsletter to learn all about our Flow 365 plan to restore Sabino and Tanque Verde Creek, our latest policy initiatives, state-wide green infrastructure training, and our recently unveiled master plan for the Living Lab and Learning Center. We also profile two families helping to restore the Tanque Verde Creek in their own backyards. Other stories inside: Pg. 4: Sabino & Tanque Verde Creek Program Update Pg. 6: Environmental Flows...
When we measure the value of Sabino Creek as we would other community assets, such as a bridge or building, we found Sabino Creek has a net value of $146 million – $230 million over a 100-year lifespan! This staggering number was determined by a recent economic analysis conducted by Seattle-based nonprofit Earth Economics in partnership with WMG.  The analysis showed that, by a conservative estimate, Sabino Creek provides $1.4 million – $2.1 million in “ecosystem service” benefits to the Tucson...
As spring makes its slow transition into summer, we finally have a minute to look back on the flurry of fun and excitement of April. At Tanque Verde Flow and Feast on April 2nd, we celebrated our love of flowing desert rivers with a fun and inspiring community event at Tanque Verde Creek. About 200 WMG supporters, Co-op members, and friends joined us for an evening of good food, drinks, poetry, and campfire fun. This event highlighted our 50 Year Program which aims to restore flow to Tucson's...
Assessing flow in Sabino creek - Fall 2015
Since the 1950s, Lower Sabino Creek has experienced declining groundwater levels and reduced stream flow. As much as we’d like to “wave a wand” and bring back perennial flow to Sabino Creek, a river does not flow by magic. There is hard science involved—so we worked with our partners to develop this flow budget and get a clear picture of the dynamics at work. We may not be magicians, but with our data and on-the-ground strategies pointing the way, the fantastic sight of a free-flowing Sabino...
For Arizona Gives Day 2015, Watershed Management Group (WMG) unveiled our Restore Sabino Creek campaign and called on our supporters to help us raise $50,000. Restoring this verdant gem in the Sonoran Desert was so compelling that we raised more than $44,000. This upwelling of support took WMG to the top in the competition for Most Dollars Raised (mid-size nonprofits), adding an additional $15,000 in prize money from the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits—taking us $9,000 beyond our goal! WMG’s...