Living River Celebration and Report Release

September 14, 2017

Come celebrate your living Santa Cruz River!

Sonoran Institute and Pima County are excited to share our latest Living River annual report on September 14th at the Pima County Joel D. Valdez Main Library. Join us at 4:00 pm for brief public presentations and small celebration. An informal social hour at Borderlands Brewery will follow. Food will be available for purchase at the Enjoyabowls food truck outside Borderlands.

Did you know stretches of the river right here in our community flow year-round?

The Tucson basin is lucky. Very few desert communities enjoy flowing water throughout the year. Though many locals are familiar with the dry stretches visible from downtown, residents are often surprised to learn that the Lower Santa Cruz flows year-round, making the stretch of the river from the Sweetwater wetlands north to Marana a lush ribbon of green several miles long. This corridor of renewed riparian growth provides a haven for resident and migrating birds, cool relief from our desert heat, and a sense of what the river looked like when the first people arrived to this valley over 12,000 years ago. Our latest report highlights a few places where you can experience it for yourself.

All the benefits we receive from a flowing river are possible thanks to the release of treated wastewater into the river channel. Water quality has rapidly improved the last four years since Pima County invested over $600 million in upgrades to our water reclamation facilities. The Living River annual report documents the improving wetland conditions in this reach. Discover the latest results by attending the release event.

What we do in the Santa Cruz:

The Santa Cruz River Initiative is focused on reconnecting communities with the river, retaining stretches with flowing water, and restoring watershed conditions. Our overall goal is to invest in water for the environment and communities along the Santa Cruz River. Our efforts in the Santa Cruz River are all part of our passion to conserve and plan for flourishing landscapes in the West. We encourage you to learn more about this work.