Institute Co-Sponsors Water Harvesting Workshops in Tucson, Arizona – December 08

For Immediate Release: December 1, 2008

Emily Brott, Sonoran Institute, 520-290-0828
Diana Rhoades, Tucson Ward 1, 520-982-4178
Lisa Shipek, Watershed Management Group, 520-396-3266


The second in a series of free water harvesting workshops will take place on Saturday, December 6, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Tucson Ward I Council Office, 940 W. Alameda Street in Tucson.  The topic will be the second phase of shaping basic earthworks and planting native vegetation in order to successfully harvest water.

The workshop series was developed in response to a commercial water harvesting ordinance recently passed by the City of Tucson, and is intended to educate participants about different water harvesting techniques they can use at their homes and businesses. Tucson Water estimates that 45 percent of all city water usage is currently used for outdoor purposes.

As part of the workshop, City Council member Regina Romero’s Ward 1 City Council Office landscape will undergo a water harvesting transformation to test out the new ordinance, create more green space and wildlife habitat and reduce energy and potable water use.  The goal is to meet 50% of the landscaping water budget with rainwater harvesting. “This economic crisis is changing the way we think about conservation,” said Romero. “We had over 20 volunteers coming to learn more about conserving water and saving money. I’m proud our office can help.”

The workshops will be held at 940 W. Alameda Road in Tucson from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following Saturdays:

• December 6th— shaping basic earthworks and planting native vegetation Phase II
• January 10—installing gutters and rainwater cisterns (tentative)
• January 24th— integrating rainwater harvesting into parking lot design (tentative)

As the workshops can accommodate only a limited number of participants, an RSVP is required. Contact Lisa Shipek at 520-396-3266. For additional information on the workshops, go to:

The free workshops are sponsored by the Sonoran Institute through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Sonoran Institute’s mission is to inspire and enable community decisions and public policies that respect the land and people of western North America. Trader Joe’s is providing the snacks, while Trees for Tucson and Desert Survivors donated the native plants. 

Watershed Management Group (WMG), a Tucson-based nonprofit whose mission is to improve people’s lives through grassroots projects that integrate community development and conservation, is leading the design and implementation of the workshops.