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Discover Hydro-regionalism

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 has developed 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

Tucson AMA Santa Cruz River Subbasin Hydroregional Water Budget

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 ongoing campaigns, we are taking this message to people throughout the watershed. Again, the first step is preparing a water budget. Click on this link for the watershed-scale water budgets for Sabino Creek, Tanque Verde, and Agua Caliente streamsheds.

What You Can Do

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