© Tucson Arts Brigade / The Water Festival

DEC. 11
JAN. 14
FEB. 11


Nov. 19th Brainstorm:


What is private water?

- Where does it come from and who pays for it?

How does Tucson Water work?

- How do they generate income?

How does CAP [Central Arizona Project] work?

- How is the water pumped? How do they make their profit? Who pays?



- Tribal rights; what's happened; San Xavier restoration agriculture
- How do we ensure that the environment gets H2O rights again?
- Border relations
- Water rights – allocation, recharge aquifer or selling?
- What are the allocations?
- When recharging the aquifer, how is the water sold?
- Colorado river piped back down here – piped into other communities
- Effluent in Santa Cruz



- Why is drinking water used in toilets?
- eColi in Santa Cruz tiny system - wetlands treatment facility high vs low technology
- productive use of this output
- climate change / drought
- quick change / need for adaptation



- Energy=water
- Coal fired plant uses water
- Always boiling water to make steam
- What new systems are in effect?
- Firm in Phoenix
- Hydroelectric use of water
- Evaporation - CAP – it's a canal not a tunnel
- Tempe lake in Phoenix



- Measurements of in / out
- Total understanding more prevalent
- Loss of evaporation / reuse
- Affecting conservation methods
- Extent of monitoring
- Tucson Water keeps track - $
- Water bill
- Cubic feet water used
- Sewer output
- Is anyone measuring evaporation/runoff? In public spaces?
- civil engineers are just supposed to know
- water use codes
- rebates for grey water / cisterns
- water use codes
- calculations in budget
- agriculture
- Commercial Rainwater Harvesting Ordinance – 1st in the Nation
- watershed management
- Diamond Ventures submitted letter to city to roll back ordinance saying it was not “business friendly”
- Wash protection ordinances, other ordinances
- Progressive billing system


Put a CAP on C.A.P.
- solar panels to pump aquifer
- where are the places for solar panels?

Solar de-cell plants

- same solar systems that don`t use water
- underground saltwater – YVMA, Holbrook, Az

Sonoran Institute

- environmental water bank
- calculate water saving contributing to wash restoration
- businesses report of consumption



- personal grey water
- internal system, certain pipes cannot bring in grey water
- commercial pays for potable / non-potable
- regulation using black water (food H2O)
- what barriers exist in codes
- grey water laws
- general residential laws

Leaky faucets / education / conservation in general



NOV. 19
JAN. 14
FEB. 11


Dec. 11th Brainstorm:


What we know/want to know

  • Water rights – privatization
  • Policy – who sets & why?
  • System dictated by where one lives, e.g. well, septic
  • Economics – e.g. of access
  • Public or owned by a corporation?
  • Systems = distribution?
  • Control/management of system in locality
  • Corporation buying some water & bottling to sell us
  • Private or privatized?
  • Who owns water rights – public or private utility

Private – can be owned by users who must own land (renters no rights)
Green Valley – aquifer water, possible to have water and no rights
Some property owners have rights to do flooding
American Water (a huge company that operates in several states)

  • Private ownership = right to do anything? Responsibility, sustainability
  • Economics runs the US – but not sustainable
  • Why use desert water??
  • Pepsico uses aquifer or CAP – mixed, inappropriate
  • The commons – what about this traditional concept?
  • Tohono O’odham – inappropriate to raise cattle in So. AZ
  • Won’t participate in use of water appropriately if it IS about privitization/NOT about privatization
  • Allocations change how so its not just economics, if scarce…

Artistic Representation of Distribution

  • Puppets & dance
  • Building (block) - source aquifer/CAP to residential & commercial
  • Using arms, legs, bodies, crawl through the interconnected web and showing leaks in the system
  • Barriers (block)- e.g. golf course – dressed as golfers & grass, astro turf, plastic water bottles in huge piles
  • Reclaiming and Resolution (block) – greywater back to plants, floodwater/rainwater
  • Adaptation to minimize waste- low flush, infrequent flush, dual-flush, water-free urinals (costume/props?), reusing our bottles
  • Rights of the Planet and the Commons
  • Labels on personal water bottles “If you reuse it- flaunt it”- give out labels at the end of the performance piece


NOV. 19
DEC. 11
FEB. 11


Jan. 14th Brainstorm:


Circulating systems of a body compared to man-made water systems (include desert native plants, animals)

Compare water cycle- technology breaking the cycle?

Man-made storage like animal/plant storage

CAP- use solar power to pump water and cover canal to reduce evaporation

Total Water Available:
- More than one person, each person rehearse/represents unit of water
- Show who gets the water and where it comes from
- Rainfall
- Other…

Show where water goes

Characters: different types of storage



People in large group representing CAP and other water resources, Agribusiness, household users, etc. and removed from the group in percentage of use until no one is left.


NOV. 19
DEC. 11
JAN. 14


Feb. 11th Brainstorm:



(water treatment): high cost filtration system, Active; low cost filtration system, Passive

(water bill- sewer output): charge for water (into?) sewer, volume charge

(watershed management): Tucson non-profit

(water protection ordinances, other ordinances): erosion

(Put a CAP on CAP): put solar panels over canal [too wide, too expensive]

(Business report of consumption): Public record. Monitor? Reduce? Research and education on commercial water waste.

(home improvement systems): regulation using black water (food h2o) sewage (not legal currently) to use for any agriculture......toilet to tap (reusable if properly treated) takes enormous energy.



Privatization- research and education.

Research and education on conservation.

Why sell precious desert water and then have to use treated sewer water?

If you reuse it, flaunt it.

Think outside the bottle (Women’s International League on Peace and Freedom)

Reclaiming the commons, right of planet to not be exploited- teach in schools and to the general public.

Pass law against all non-emergency bottled water

Contests to get laws passed

(Celebrate successes) Sonoran Institute, businesses report of consumption: educational and research project on commercial water waste.

Schools reuse and recycle water bottles, school names on reusable non-plastic water bottles

Competition for reuse

Prevent privatized water use for re-sale.


1. 'Pumping' as a bigger concept. When we use things, it generally pumps water somewhere. My favorite example is the computer keyboard. We use the computer to order a plane ticket---how much water did we just pump with the mere wiggling of our fingers on a keyboard (let alone all the other resources attached to such an act)?

2. How much water does a person need to live a healthy life, bottom line?

3. Camels: water banking--wouldn't it be amazing if we had the capacity to store extra rain from high-yield years like these only to be used in low yield years like 2009?


NOV. 19
DEC. 11
JAN. 14
FEB. 11


A Couple of Extra Post-Its

Water to be reorganized and valued as the precious resource that it is River Resurrection

Presented By


TUCSON ARTS BRIGADE, INC. (TAB) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit participatory service-based community arts and education organization that specializes in Green Arts, offering intergenerational and cross-cultural opportunities for civic engagement. TAB facilitates dialogue and employs arts-based solutions to complex community issues including graffiti, bullying, crime, drug use, health and wellness, empowering youth and elders, beautification, sustainable design, and revitalizing neighborhoods. Bringing together schools, neighborhoods, civic agencies, businesses, and other non-profits, TAB is a national model for sustainable community development through the arts. MORE INFO: