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How one man lives off water grid in Tucson

Arizona Daily Star


David Stevenson's winter veggies, watered by the rain. Since September, David Stevenson has been getting the smallest Tucson Water bill possible.

He currently pays the $12.67 monthly service fee and the $14.71 Pima County sewer fee for a grand total of $27.38.

He doesn’t pay for any water use because he isn’t using any water from the city utility.

Stevenson, who designs and sells residential solar systems at Technicians for Sustainability, is completely off the water grid. Instead, he uses what he calls “David’s water.”

His move to utility-free water was gradual, starting in 2008. That’s when the Tucson native put in a 3,000-gallon culvert cistern to collect rain falling onto the roof of his westside home.

With the help of Watershed Management Group, Stevenson learned how to reshape his landscape to passively collect rainwater and how to install gray water systems that capture indoor water for outdoor use.

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