417 

 

Water Supply, Demand Management, Respect for the Environment, and Comprehensive Integrated 
Planning. Plan implementation was integrated with Water and Land Conservation/Management aspects 
of Pima County’s current Sustainable Action Plan. 

In association with multiple County departments and the Pima Association of Governments, we 
collaborate to achieve watershed improvements throughout the region.  Construction Stormwater 
Management, Multi-sector General Permit Stormwater Controls, Rainwater Harvesting, Flood-prone 
Land Acquisition Program, and Low Impact Development are representative areas targeted.  Multiple 
Pima County departments share responsibility for routine inspections, compliance, workshops, outreach 
materials, and even code modifications to promote water recycling and water harvesting are part of the 
annual MS4 reporting to ADEQ and EPA.  

Our utility also employs an ADEQ-approved Capacity Management Operations & Maintenance (CMOM) 
Plan to address SSOs as well as other environmental aspects of conveyance system management. 

Utilize an integrated program to address wet weather issues, including such sources as regulated 
stormwater, unregulated runoff (nonpoint sources), SSOs, peak flow at POTWs, and source water 
protection. 

Actively lead the Lower Santa Cruz River Basin Study, a federal grant-funded multi-partner analysis of 
water resources in the watershed for the purpose of developing a strategy to improve water reliability 
for municipal, industrial, agricultural, tribal/cultural, and environmental sectors. This project is a three-
year climate-model and scenario-planning process that will project impacts of future drought, as well as 
Colorado River CAP shortage. The expected outcome is a set of recommendations for infrastructure 
improvements to accentuate water resource resiliency and sustainability throughout the regional 
watershed.  

Our utility, in association with fellow County departments, instituted the Living River Project which is an 
annual assessment of the wetland conditions created and impacted by the effluent from our upgraded 
wastewater reclamation facilities. Three reports have been done so far to measure 16 indicators of river 
health along a 23-mile stretch of the Santa Cruz River. Improved water quality is changing the effluent 
dependent Santa Cruz River into a setting where healthier aquatic habitat is possible and increased 
infiltration in the Lower Santa Cruz Managed Recharge Project, also a byproduct of improved water 
quality, means that aquifer replenishment is enhanced. 

Performance Measures & Results 

-

 

Increase Managed Recharge Infiltration: 57% increase in recharged effluent since 2013. 

-

 

Improve Aquatic Health of Santa Cruz River: Increased macroinvertebrate and amphibian 
diversity, presence of pollution sensitive species, and appearance of new fish species. 

-

 

Improve Water Conservation & Management: Reduced potable water use for irrigation by 
replacing with reclaimed water. New landscape irrigation projects and green buildings use 
predominantly gray water, harvested rainwater, and reclaimed water. 

-

 

Augment riparian restoration/green infrastructure acreage: Total of 340 acres of riparian habitat 
supported with reclaimed water – Target of 715 acres by 2025. 

-

 

Retain stormwater on-site: Capture of sediment and other stormwater pollutants.