The Many Benefits of Effluent Flows in the Santa Cruz River

Collaborative Opportunities Assessment

The Santa Cruz River is thriving thanks to the release of effluent (highly treated wastewater) into the river, providing nearly 50 miles of flowing reaches. However, there is no guarantee that the river will continue to flow. To understand the full value of retaining flows in the Santa Cruz, Sonoran Institute met with a group of diverse river stakeholders in 2018.

This story map shares the data learned through these meetings and is designed to lead viewers through a richly-illustrated guide to river history and current status as Pima County’s primary wetland habitat. The tool is geared to water managers to help them identify areas with the highest value in several categories: natural environment, water supply, and the human landscape, which includes historical and cultural value, economic development, recreation, safety and social equity. The information in the interactive tool helps river managers find approaches that preserve these values while also meeting their goals and the goals of their partners. A supplementary report is also available.

Photo credit: Brian Powell, Pima County.

Story Map


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