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.
Hydro-regional Policy Platform
WMG worked closely with the Community Water Coalition to develop a Hydro-regional policy platform. The platform is supported by an annual water budget for the Tucson Basin, that shows how Tucson can be fully supported by renewable groundwater, effluent, and harvested water. Check out the basic water budget below or nerd out on the detailed water budget with footnotes.
Tucson Basin Annual Water Budget
Shifting from dependence on Colorado River water to local, renewable supply
Modeling Hydro-regionalism at the Living Lab
As with all good ideas at WMG, we start by walking the talk at home. Hydro-regionalism is in full effect at our Living Lab and Learning Center, where we are meeting 100% of our water needs with renewable water—rainwater, greywater, and stormwater.
In Tucson, most of our municipal water comes from pumped groundwater and water imported hundreds of miles from the Colorado River. Not only does using this water deplete nature’s supply, but it is energy intensive to harvest and deliver. Harvesting rainwater, greywater, and stormwater at the Living Lab frees us from dependence on unsustainable supplies to meet our water needs.
By preparing a water budget for our Living Lab we were able to ensure renewable supplies would meet all our water needs—including native trees and pollinator-friendly plants, a lush food forest with fruit trees and seasonal vegetables, employee showers, drinking water for staff and visitors, and more! Check out our Living Lab water budget.
Taking Hydro-regionalism to the Next Level
WMG is helping homes, businesses, neighborhoods, and whole cities begin to make this shift. With our Restore Sabino Creek campaign—and the expanded work that will also help Revive Tanque Verde—we are taking this message to people throughout the watershed.
Again the first step is preparing a water budget— Click on the linked text for the respective watershed-scale water budgets for Sabino Creek, Lower Tanque Verde, Middle Tanque Verde and Agua Caliente, and Upper Tanque Verde streamsheds.