Have you ever traveled along the Santa Cruz portion of The Loop and seen water flowing in the riverbed? Have you seen the lush riparian vegetation and wildlife that this section of the Santa Cruz supports, including 230 species of birds? For 23 miles, the Santa Cruz River enjoys year-round flow from treated wastewater, called effluent. This cleaned and treated water comes from two treatment facilities near Ina and Roger roads.
However, there is no formal agreement to ensure that this water is not used for other purposes. If we want to see the Santa Cruz River flowing for years to come, we need to act now and contact our elected officials. The Coalition has an active leadership role in the Community Water Coalition, and along with other groups we are asking City and County leadership to secure water for this stretch of the Santa Cruz River using the Conservation Effluent Pool (CEP). The CEP is 10,000 acre feet of treated wastewater that is set aside for special riparian habitat restoration projects each year. We want Pima County and the City of Tucson to set aside a portion of CEP water to maintain the riparian habitat that has been established while the Santa Cruz River has been flowing.
Please contact the Mayor, County Administrator, or your Council Member and let them know that you support the proposal by the Community Water Coalition to designate CEP water towards the Santa Cruz River. Let them know why having this riparian ecosystem is so important for both people and wildlife. We need places like this to keep the Sonoran Desert ecosystem thriving for years to come.