WMG launched the concept of hydro-regionalism in 2015 as part of our 50 Year Program to restore regular flow to Tucson’s springs,creeks, and rivers. I’m thrilled to see the concept spread, and just a year later, it has been adopted by the Community Water Coalition (CWC) as one of their policy platforms. WMG’s Catlow Shipek led the development of the platform, with input from CWC’s restoration committee including participants from the City of Tucson, Pima County, and Pima Association of Governments. platform is supported by a water budget that shows it’s possible to meet the Tucson basin’s water needs with local, renewable supplies if we continue on our trajectory of conservation and enhanced recharge. We’ve worked with several agency hydrologists on this water budget, and their general sentiment is: “It’s crazy, but possible.” We’ll take it. And now we’re shi ing the dialogue to show that hydro-regionalism isn’t crazy, but visionary. Instead of thinking in terms of water scarcity, we can shift our focus to creating and sustaining water abundance.
How will we achieve this visionary goal? This fall, we’re officially launching our River Run Network, the culmination of our work to develop a restoration platform that engages the community in our 50 Year Program. The River Run Network consists of “Streamsheds,” or distinct stretches of streams and adjacent land with similar characteristics and specific restoration goals. We’re asking people to join the network by making a pledge and helping with priority actions at their homes and in their neighborhoods.
It’s time for the grassroots to mobilize and create a paradigm shift in how we meet our communities’ water supply and manage our water resources for long-term abundance.