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Tucson Water’s Strategic Planning process includes setting standards in every aspect of operation.  As a 
standards driven organization, each division of the Utility is responsible for setting performance 
measures and tracking metrics for those measures.  This dedication to standards provides Tucson Water 
with the ability to assess its progress and respond immediately when changes are necessary.  Through 
standards the Utility achieves accountability not only internally, but to the community at large.  Tucson 
Water works closely with a Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee and with the City Manager, Mayor, and 
City Council to ensure that the community has every opportunity to communicate with the Utility and 
provide input and feedback.  These relationships have been crucial to the community’s support of the 
Utility’s initiatives, such as water reuse and watershed stewardship. 
 
Issues related to treatment and public acceptance can often delay and defer water reuse programs.  
However, the Utility’s strong ties to the community and reputation built on transparency and trust have 
allowed us to fully develop a water reuse program.  Previous successes with the recharge and recovery 
of potable water have led to considerations of another recharge and recovery program. This program 
would provide additional treatment and storage of reclaimed water supplies and recycle the water for 
potable reuse.   Tucson Water currently allocates the majority of its reclaimed water for non-potable 
uses, such as irrigation and industrial processing. This system, first established in 1984, now delivers 
about 15,800 acre-feet of reclaimed water annually, keeping parks, golf courses, and schoolyards green.  
The availability of unallocated water, coupled with the historic drought and threat of reduced Colorado 
River water supplies, led Tucson Water to complete its Recycled Water Master Plan in 2013. The Plan is 
part of a Recycled Water Program that sets a detailed path for developing potable reuse during the next 
decade.  Tucson Water will use its learned expertise in recharge and recovery in our high desert 
landscape to help ensure the most beneficial and sustainable use of our precious potable and recycled 
water supplies into the future.  Water reuse is still only a part of the Utility’s overall watershed 
stewardship practices. 
 
Tucson Water’s Strategic Plan and Recycled Water Program clearly communicate the Utility’s priorities 
in relation to watershed stewardship.  From protection of the regions precious groundwater through the 
use of renewable supplies, to conservation and education programs, to the Recycled Water Program, 
the Utility constantly works to reinforce the value of every drop of water in the desert.  The Utility also 
works with other water providers to help deliver renewable water supplies to other communities in the 
region.  Additionally, Tucson Water supports and encourages green infrastructure inside the city through 
education and rebate programs for water conservation and efficiency measures such as rainwater 
harvesting, curb cuts, and low-flow toilets.  The Utility also recognizes the importance of supporting the 
entire ecosystem and Tucson Water voluntarily engaged in a Habitat Conservation Plan for 22,000 acres 
of retired farm properties it owns.  These lands are now in various states restoration.  Watershed 
stewardship is not accomplished in isolation, and Tucson Water works with its regional and the 
community to engage in regional watershed stewardship. 
 
It is through the dedication and effort of every employee that Tucson Water is able to achieve such 
great lengths.  It all begins and ends with the organizational culture of the Utility.  The communication of 
core values, and more importantly, the demonstration of core values in action drive Tucson Water to 
continuing innovation and success with the support of the community behind us.