Welcome Bienvenidos

90 Day Action Report
From April 1 – June 30, 2019, the CWC-SOAZ –
  • Facilitated Listening session in Tubac, Arizona, with Santa Cruz County-based conservation organizations
  • Co-sponsored Tucson Mayoral Forum with Chispa-AZ
  • Facilitated meeting between U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick and conservation stakeholders
  • Served on Pima County Regional Flood Plain planning committee
  • Provided public comments regarding the Clean Water Rule to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Provided public comments regarding the proposed I-11 corridor through Avra Valley
  • Provided current water-related public information via web and email

We are action-oriented.

Check Out this Crew Called the
from Friends
of Sonoita Creek

On a crisp Autumn morning, a jovial group of folks from the Patagonia - Sonoita area gathered their work gloves, sun hats, shovels and pick axes and headed out to one of the area's many hiking trails. Calling themselves the "Dirtbags," this outdoor loving, community-minded work crew meets Thursday mornings at 8am throughout the cool months for trail building, maintenance and restoration work.

Trails in the area link the Borderlands wildlife corridor, the Paton Hummingbird Center, Nature Conservancy's Patagonia - Sonoita Creek Preserve and Arizona State Parks - Patagonia Lake. and Sonoita Creek State Natural Area.

Thank you to Robert Proctor, board member for Friends of Sonoita Creek and one of the Patagonia "Dirtbags," for sharing these photos, and thanks to all the "Dirtbags" for your work on the trails.

Water Conservation Tip

Wash only full loads in your washing machine.

U.S. House of Representatives Investigates Federal Agency Actions on Vigneto Development near Benson, Arizona

The House Committee on Natural Resources, chaired by Arizona Representative Raúl Grijalva, is investigating why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reversed a previous decision opposing the 404 Clean Water Act (CWA) permit for a proposed 28,000 home development, the Villages at Vigneto, near Benson, Arizona. Concerns were ignored about the potential impacts of the housing development on the San Pedro River National Conservation Area (SPRNCA), which is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Saint David Cienega and associated drainages with the decision reversal.

In 2016, the FWS Arizona Ecological Services Office Field Supervisor wrote to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, "...it is likely that an appreciable volume of groundwater will be withdrawn to serve the development, and a displacement of groundwater from the aquifer is likely to reduce flow in the San Pedro River, in reaches designated as critical habitat for the yellow-billed cuckoo and the northern Mexican garter snake." The supervisor states that he was pressured into reversing his recommendation to deny the CWA permit.

Joining the call for review of federal agency actions regarding Vigneto, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), wrote to the BLM's Gila District Manager on July 8, 2019. In the letter, PEER requested the BLM -
1) Make objections to development which negatively impact the availability of water to the SPRNCA in the future
2) Determine why such objections to the Villages at Vigneto were not made
3) Discuss what can be done now to protect the water resources of the SPRNCA.

Along with excellent coverage by Tony Davis and Tim Steller from the Arizona Daily Star, this story received national media attention from both CNN and the Rachel Maddow show in recent weeks.

Welcome New Member

Patagonia Area Resource Alliance
We lost a colleague
and friend.

Craig Civalier
CWC-SOAZ Board Member and Treasurer

You will be missed, Craig.
Member Profile
Sonora Environmental Research Institute (SERI)

On this sunny day, a group of water-harvesting enthusiasts worked together to build passive rainwater harvesting structures in a local resident's back yard. The crew excavated parts of the yard, and contoured the land to direct the rainwater right to the plants nestled in the landscape. Both a cost saving and water saving measure, the passive rainwater system will improve shade in the yard and help the homeowner save money on irrigation. A grant from Tucson Water funds installation of 50 passive water harvesting systems in low income areas. Free trees and shrubs are also offered to participating homeowners. With funding from the Arbor Day Foundation/Bank of America Award, SERI partners with Tucson Clean and Beautiful and Tucson Water to increase the tree canopy in low income neighborhoods.

Rainwater harvesting projects are just some of the community benefit projects offered by SERI. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, SERI works with target businesses, auto body and mechanic shops and beauty parlors, to reduce hazardous exposures from chemicals including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Children's health is the focus for the SERI program operating in Nogales, Arizona. This program works to reduce home-based risks, including lead paint exposure, indoor air quality, asthma, hazardous chemical exposure and fire and safety hazards.

Recently SERI was awarded an Agnese Haury Foundation grant to develop a solar energy program for low income residents.

A non profit organization established in 1994, SERI led the way in many areas, including residential water conservation. With a staff of ten, SERI seeks to both improve environmental quality and the health of community members. Senior Program Manager, Flor Sandoval, started out with SERI as a high school volunteer. She continued through college and graduate school, and was recognized in 2018 as one of Tucson's 40 Under 40 recipients.

A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods.

Rachel Carson

Arizona Water

 The Santa Cruz River floodplain in Southern Arizona reveals some of the earliest Indigenous irrigation sites in the southwestern United States - 4,000 years old.

10,000 years ago, Archaic people now known as the Clovis people entered the San Pedro River Valley in Southern Arizona. They hunted mammoths, which lived in the area.
Issues To Watch
Lake Mead at 41% of Capacity in June
A wet winter in 2018-2019 helped replenish the Colorado River reservoirs, but Lake Mead is now at 41% capacity.

University of Arizona Research Shows as much as 50% Decline in U.S. Rivers Due to Groundwater Pumping
This study examined groundwater pumping across the United States.

Unregulated Contaminants Found in the City of Tucson and Marana water systems
A type of perflourinated compounds, called PFAS, was detected in Tucson Water and Marana Water distribution systems.

The List of Regulated Contaminants Monitored by Tucson Water is Large

Our Mission
The Community Water Coalition of Southern Arizona promotes water conservation, river and riparian area protection and environmental justice through policy development, education and advocacy. We work via multicultural and intersectional collaborative endeavors in Southern Arizona and the U.S./Mexico border region.

Nuestra Misión
La Coalición de Agua de la Comunidad del Sur de Arizona promociona la conservación del agua, la protección de ríos y áreas ribereñas y la justicia del medio ambiente por medio del desarrollo de pólizas, educación y promoción. Trabajamos por medio de esfuerzos con la colaboracion de vias multiculturales e interseccionales en el Sur de Arizona y la región fronteriza de los Estados Unidos con México.
Photo credits -
Greg Saxe - Pima County Regional Flood Control District
Friends of Sonoita Creek
Coconino National Forest
tracitodd - Creative Commons
cobalt123 - Creative Commons
Mark Andrews - Creative Commons
Temple-Pueblo Paradiso - Creative Commons
Gall - Creative Commons
Katja Schultz - Creative Commons