Brown Bag: Lessons Learned from the Living River Project

Pima County Regional Flood Control District Monthly Brown Bag Series: Lessons Learned from the Living River Project

Speaker: Claire Zugmeyer, Sonoran Institute
Date / Time: Wednesday, November 8, 2017: 12:00-1:00 PM
Location: 201 North Stone Ave, 9th Floor

Sonoran Institute and Pima County recently released the fourth annual A Living River: Charting the Wetland Health of the Lower Santa Cruz River, which has documented change in river conditions since the upgrade to the two regional wastewater reclamation facilities on the Santa Cruz River. The project documented the substantial change in infiltration, water clarity, water quality, aquatic wildlife, riparian vegetation and social impacts. In general, this has shown a change to a higher quality, a more inviting, yet shorter, reach of the Santa Cruz, where much more of the water infiltrates into the regional aquifer.

The Living River reports were designed to engage a non-technical audience by including simple graphs, photos, and artwork that is visually-appealing. In recent years, the annual report has included entries from the Living River of Words Youth Poetry and Art Contest, which uses the effluent-dependent Santa Cruz as an environmental education platform. Over 6,000 people have come to events featuring the Living River and over 20 television and print articles have been published on the project.

Sonoran Institute is building on this effort to monitor and convey the changes in the effluent-dependent Santa Cruz by gathering feedback on community values, concerns and priorities. Sonoran Institute implemented an on-line survey that received over 500 responses and conducted workshops at three locations along the River.

This presentation will describe the latest results of the Living River report and present preliminary results of the on-line survey and community engagement workshops.

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