• Conserve to Enhance: An Innovative Mechanism for Environmental Benefits

      Choate, Brittany Lynn; Nadeau, Joanna; Rupprecht, Candice; Lien, Aaron; Megdal, Sharon B.; Water Resources Research Center (2011-11-04)
      Arizona’s riparian ecosystems have been susceptible to degradation because state water laws do not consider environmental water needs. This lack of legal authority has led to water being diverted away from desert waterways through surface water and groundwater withdrawals (Megdal et al. 2011). To help bring the environment to the table as a water using sector, the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) has developed the Conserve to Enhance (C2E) program. C2E is an innovative water conservation mechanism that addresses ecological water needs by raising funds through individual donations for river and riparian enhancement projects. The C2E Program invites community members to implement water conservation methods, track their monthly water savings through a Water Conservation Calculator, and then donate those savings to a C2E fund. Tucson is home to the first C2E Pilot Program, which began January 2011 with 60 participants. The goal is to determine if a program like C2E would be successful at a larger, city-wide scale and if such a program is applicable for other water-scarce communities in the Southwest.