Tucson continues to show the way on water management

Passive water harvesting system. Credit: morganlandscapes.com
Passive water harvesting system. Credit: morganlandscapes.com

Tucson will now use passive water harvesting on future road projects This follows Tucon’s stunning 90% reduction in groundwater pumping. They really get it about water and are showing other what to do.

This policy was largely developed by Watershed Management Group (I’m biased as a former board member of WMG) who put in a lot of effort to build consensus and support for this sensible change in a desert city. The policy calls for incorporating curb cuts and depressed basins adjacent to roads to collect, filter, and utilize storm runoff for fostering roadside vegetation that will provide shading (heat island reduction) and pollution mitigation (both air and water). These are remarkably simple modifications that should save water, previously used for irrigation, in addition to reducing the strain on stormwater infrastructure.

The University of Arizona has more.

Passive water harvesting is the practice of slowing water down and encouraging it to soak into the ground. With simple land contouring (often called “earthworks”) that catch and direct stormwater runoff, stormwater can be used beneficially, encouraging plant growth in landscapes and natural areas, healing erosion cuts, and can even replace the need to irrigate with tap water.