Environment & Water

energyEnvironment & Water

Individuals, institutions and companies involved in the provision of environmental services, sale and distribution of environmental equipment, environmental research, development and construction, and environmental infrastructure, and individuals involved in the buying, selling and supplying of services to the environmental industry. Individuals, institutions and companies engaged in water management planning in the Arizona-Sonora region that emphasizes collaboration on programs for the advancement of economic, social and environmental benefits of both states, and that arise from constructive solutions to shared water supply issues.

How To Get Involved

By serving on the Environment & Water Committee, you can participate in grassroots policy development, exchange ideas and information through cross-border communication and collaboration, and contribute to the implementation and advancement of cross-border projects. Contact your co-chairs today!

Arizona Co-Chairs

MisaelMisael Cabrera
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
(602) 771-2203
Thomas BuschatzkeThomas Buschatze
Arizona Department of Water Resources
(602) 771-8426

David RobertsDavid Roberts
Manager, Water Rights and Contracts
Salt River Project
(602) 236-2343


AMC Grant Project

Click here to view the Environment & Water Grant Project

Past Plenary Presentations

2014 Plenary Environment & Water Committee Presentations
2013 Fall Plenary Environmental & Water Committee Presentations
2013 Summer Plenary Environment & Water Committee Presentations (Part 1)
2013 Summer Plenary Environment & Water Committee Presentations (Part 2)

Current Action Items

Archived Action Items

Action Item 1

Due Date: June 1, 2014

The Environment Committee will identify data sets at its disposal to improve the functionality of the U.S. Geological Survey Ecosystem Portfolio Model for the Santa Cruz River watershed. By incorporating environmental monitoring data, the model can evaluate the environmental services generated by the river’s ecosystem and the economic value of the waste water that supports it.

Tactic A

Due Date: June 1, 2014
100% complete

Identify missing environmental quality data sets to include in the model.

Steps Taken: The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has performed quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) checks on various sampling results from monitoring performed along Santa Cruz River through a volunteer monitoring program by the Friends of the Santa Cruz River from 1986 through the present. Staff with the Sonoran Institute also assisted with QA/QC of monitoring data. Additionally, ADEQ has reviewed flow and water quality data from the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission related to their monitoring requirements in Arizona. All data pertain to sampling of points in Arizona along the Santa Cruz River and its tributary – the Nogales Wash. The U.S. Geological Survey will use the completed data set to amend a Source Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) currently in development for the Santa Cruz River. The SWAT will help border stakeholders with the management of binational waste water that, once treated, supports the perennial reach of the Santa Cruz River.

Tactic B

Due Date: June 1, 2014
100% complete

Incorporate missing data sets and update the model.

Steps Taken: Data compiled under Tactic A were used to improve the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for the Santa Cruz River. The model is now more accurate in predicting the extent of perennial flow dependent on effluent-discharge data from the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant. As such, the updated model may now be used with greater confidence to evaluate management decisions associated with future diversions of effluent to the Los Alisos Wastewater Treatment Plant south of Nogales, Sonora. Available water quality data were too limited for comprehensive water quality modeling of the upper Santa Cruz watershed in the context of SWAT; however, the compiled data is still useful for evaluating spatial and temporal variations of water quality in the river, particularly in the border region.

Action Item 2

Due Date: June 1, 2014

Water Focused Mixed Use Development in Urban Environments: The City of Tempe is a land-locked community, surrounded on all sides by neighboring cities and Indian communities. As such, it has had to look inward for economic development opportunities. The dry Salt River bed bisected the northern portions of the City from east to west and, while serving as vital conveyance of infrequent flood events, offered few other benefits to the City’s residents and visitors. Enhancement of the Salt River into a community amenity has been studied since the mid-1960s and culminated in the construction of Tempe Town Lake in 1999. Completion of the Lake has spurred residential and commercial development and serves as a recreational amenity both on, and adjacent to, the water. Ciudad de Hermosillo is bisected by the Rio de Sonora. Development of the lands adjacent to the river has begun. A new baseball stadium for the Hermosillo Orange of the Mexican League has been constructed and opened. A new water reclamation facility is nearing completion and operation that can serve as a water source for amenities in and along the stream channel. Representatives from Mexico requested a tour of the Tempe Town Lake.

Tactic A

Due Date: June 1, 2014
100% complete

Informational Meeting and Tempe Town Lake Tour

Steps Taken: An informational meeting and lake tour were held on April 16, 2013. The meeting was hosted at Salt River Project (SRP). Participants were provided with an overview of permitting, technical and financial details of construction of the lake and the pending replacement of the downstream dam. Representatives from the City of Tempe, SRP, and the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) participated in the presentation. Five Mexican representatives from Comision Estatal del Agua and Comisión de Cooperación Ecológica Fronteriza were in attendance. Following the presentation, the participants were provided a tour of the SRP control room which serves as the control system for the lake water supply and dams under a service contract between the City and SRP. The participants were then escorted to tour elements of Tempe Town Lake and nearby amenities, including the downstream dam and pedestrian bridge, Tempe Arts Center, and Tempe Beach Park. Following the tour of the Lake, the participants traveled to a low-head hydroelectric generation facility located on the Arizona Canal at Arizona Falls. Many of the Action Item participants will be attending Water Transfer workshop in Hermosillo (see Action Item #4). A tour of the proposed project location is incorporated into the field excursions planned for this event.

Tactic B

Due Date: June 1, 2014
100% complete

Tour of Puerto Oeste, Hermosillo

Steps Taken: Many of the Action Item participants attended a workshop in Hermosillo, Sonora on water transfers (see Action Item #4). A tour of the proposed project was incorporated into the field excursions of the event.

Action Item 3

Due Date: June 1, 2014

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the State of Sonora Commission of Ecology and Sustainable Development will foster the increase of environmental ethics in schools on both sides of the border by providing technical support and educational materials to interested municipalities.

Tactic A

Due Date: June 1, 2014
100% complete

Develop a pilot plan to foster an environmental culture and sustainability practices at elementary and middle schools on both sides of the border.

Steps Taken: The Sonora Ecology and Sustainable Development Commission (CEDES) developed two train-the-trainer programs in support of this action item. The first program was "Environmental Education and Climate Change in Sonora: Environmental Education Trainers for the Basic Level in Urban Zones." The second one was "Sustainable Development Education: Training for Trainers." Through these programs, over 7,000 teachers from the preschool to high school levels were reached in Sonora. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) published the 2013 edition of an Arizona/Sonora Binational Clean Air Calendar. The calendar was distributed to schools, libraries, and city/municipal offices in the areas of Ambos Nogales, Douglas and Agua Prieta, and Yuma and San Luis Rio Colorado. Over 2,000 students participated in the drawing contest to develop a final calendar design. ADEQ also partnered with the University of Arizona, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission on a school chemical management program implemented within the Nogales Unified School District (NUSD). As part of this project, nearly 1,350 pounds of chemicals were removed and properly disposed of by NUSD. A school chemical management plan toolkit, in both English and Spanish versions, is now available on ADEQ's website.

Action Item 4

Due Date: June 1, 2014

The Arizona-Mexico Commission Water committee will conduct a binational workshop in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico to share water management experiences in Arizona and Sonora by exploring examples and opportunities of agriculture to urban water transfers. Day one o f the workshop will include a tour of facilities and lands that are subject to the Si Sonora. Day 2 will include a discussion of previous and planned agricultural to urban transfers in Arizona. These shall include: Chino Valley Irrigation District to City of Prescott purchase and retirement; Salt River Project Ag to Urban transition; Wellton Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District to Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) water rights settlement; and CAP Non-Indian Agriculture to Indian Water Right Settlements with M&I Leases. Presentations on the process and examples from Mexico will also be included.

Tactic A

Due Date: May 31, 2013
100% complete

Meeting Planning: Logistics and Technical Program

Steps Taken: Planning for the workshop in Hermosillo in May 2013 has taken place. Final preparations are being completed to hold the workshop.

Tactic B

Due Date: May 20, 2013
100% complete

Prepare and distribute workshop materials and technical presentations

Steps Taken: Materials for the workshop held on May 20-21, 2013 in Hermosillo, Sonora were prepared and delivered to participants.

Action Item 5

Due Date: December 31, 2015

The states of Arizona and Sonora will collaborate with the funding agencies and leads for new 2014-2015 projects in the border region through the U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program to ensure that projects are completed as planned.

Action Item 6

Due Date: December 31, 2014

The states of Arizona and Sonora will collaborate to increase water conservation awareness in Hermosillo and border municipalities through outreach campaigns.

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water advocatesWhere: Arizona-Sonora
What: AMC Advocates for Water
Pillars: Advocacy
The Central Arizona Project (CAP) was halted by action of the Executive Department of the United States in 1973. This federal reclamation project to supplement water in Arizona had already been authorized. It had funding. It was partially completed. AMC petitioned and urged the President of the United States and the Department of the Interior to reconsider. Construction of the project resumed and was substantially completed in 1994. CAP now manages the single largest renewable water supply in Arizona, serving approximately 1.8 million people in the state.