© Tucson Arts Brigade / The Water Festival

DEC. 11
JAN. 14
FEB. 11


Nov. 19th Brainstorm:


The Water Supply? What happens after 2019?

What is the future of Tucson's water supply? What can we do?


TAP - Tucson Arizona Project - water harvesting - TAP Water

Budget for education on water harvesting and conservation

There is the heat island effect. Water harvesting + vegetation = lower temperatures and counteracts this.

Curb run-off with water harvesting going to nice home landscaping

French drains


Chlorinated water disrupts our body's ability to use our EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids). This contributes to thyroid issues competing with iodine. Do we need to chlorinate/purify all water to our homes or just at our homes for potable water. In Europe water is Ozonated.


Fund fun ideas

Should there be funding for harvesting rainwater?

Covering channels and lining areas with trees prevent 90% of water from leaving

Micro water - the kinesthetic nature of water.

On a tiny scale hydroelectric power captures energy.

Playing with water- Water is life!

Toilets with a top basin for hand washing- this is multi use. The water goes down with the toilet water.
At Arcosanti water has multiple purposes - sinks to pot

Earthship construction uses water 5x. They reuse grey water until it is black water.

Arcada is earthship on a mucicipal level.

North of Sonoita there is a guy with a 4,000 gallon hard water cistern. The neighbors did not go that way. The neighbors have had to replace their cisterns but he hasn't. Rainwater is more acidic. Pipes add lye. They do not like acidic water.

What are the federal, state and local initiatives or grants available? What about the University of Arizona???

Ideas for innovations in water - the Ford Foundation and the Tohono O'odham



Desalination is expensive and a bad idea to take water out of the ocean

What about water from the moon? What is the effect of taking water from the moon? And what about the planets? People/planets will be travelling to have water.

We should look at how to save and wisely use the water we have before turning to the oceans and other planets.

Look at how water was here [in Tucson, Earth] before.

If there is no water we won't exist.

There is a movie on water that can be seen on You Tube and on DVD. The movie is 1 hour and 20 minutes. Scientists talk about one problem, one solution, one healing and energetics.



Kids in in Tennessee and kids in Flowing Wells.

Tucson Hydroponic Gardeners - greenhouses, planting at the schools. This teaches math, science, emotional management and produces tomatoes. It took the kids off the streets and into science. They have work schedules. The kids are surrounded by beauty and nature as they work and pick the fruit that they then sell on Saturdays. This keeps the kids out of trouble and helps their self esteem.

Grant - Summer Service - National Corp with Service Innovation - Dec. 10th



Sustainable Tucson - hydroponics in food - multi story - no water in and no water out.

Regional Food Project here in Tucson

Self sufficiency and regeneration.

Jojoba and grassfed beef at the Santa Cruz market instead of corn fed (and with no CLA - conjugated linoleic acid)



NOV. 19
JAN. 14
FEB. 11


Dec. 11th Brainstorm:


Neighborhood empowerment such as gardens
(within communities vs. individually)

Macro vs. Micro Focus
Design principles
Not a hazard
Speaks to engineering
Water harvesting should be central to planning
On what scale - macro in conception
Apply technology and modify it to every design principle
Don't treat water as a hazard

What technology works and at what scale?
What technology is appropriate?
What is our capacity?

Identify and track what works
What has worked? Is our technology antiquated?
Modify infrastructure
Grey water from waste water
Water needs to be used multiple times & Tucson is low on recycling water
Grey water can be used for plants and vegetables, etc...
Domestic realm - awareness to conservation

Industrial areas need to clean up
Domestic practice as a model for public awareness
Re-use grey water (not human waste)
All sink and shower water, grease and toilet water is "black water"
this is well defined
new constructions must apply
commercial land must be half rainwater
infrastructure becoming more green

Address concerns about conservation and negative impacting infrastructure
How do we keep people's attention?
Add microbes into the pipes - lining pipes creates low friction and digest wastes
microbes naturally clean mechanic routing
construction accommodates this but experimenting is needed
we need to adopt this
Waste water generates methane which when not dealt with properly becomes an expense
Smell indicates unhealthy septic plant
Waste water for plants
Appropriate Technology
Most average people are not dependant on systems outside their control
The right tool for the right job is needed
don't create advanced mechanic machines the everyday person can't maintain (example: Yuma)
The cost of water has gone up - create more water through de cell/nation
Deal with pharmaceuticals. You're always downstream from someone
Drink toilet to tap water. It's already treated effluent water

Standards are Relative
What are the drinking water standards in Tucson? They are immeasurable really. What regulations exist for plastics, etc?
The elderly and infants are at higher risks for disease

Composting Toilets
These would take contamination out of water. We need to segregate waste - "Source Reduction” - surface preparation for waste that happens
What is more economical in higher target areas?
We need collection systems; combinations of advanced peroxidation and reverse
osmosis - would remove waste from the airport

Reverse Osmosis
Does it make sense in the desert?
Membrane technology is 95% efficient
"Technology Optimism" states "The most updated is the solution" but this is very dangerous. This is our cultural bias and what makes us less safe in case of dependency

Perceptions of Technology
Older technology is often the most useful.



Treatment of a molecule
Solid vs. liquid waste - composting toilet. The shovel vs. faster technology
In rainwater harvesting the 1st thought is a cistern - not passive
Make a hole - go back to the basics
Landscape vs. disengaging from the system
The visible connection is the shovel - "Homage to the Shovel"
We need a visual we can relate to
Beware of reducing technology and oversimplifying
An official science lecture translated and simplified to what everyday people can understand. Equate advantages with simplicity in relation to rainwater and composting toilets
Technology is reliance vs. resilience. With composting toilets we step outside the man- made cycle. Man made is ultra technology with constant up-keeping of needs. Get away from man's control and get back to nature's control. Another example of man-made vs. nature is rainwater vs. drinking water.
What is the difference between the perceived amounts of water used vs. the real amount used? We need a system of measurement. What types of technology slows us down in our goal? Earthships are a great model because with them water is used 8 times
An outdoor shower. This is an oasis for outdoor showers. Another idea for showers is timers that ding after 5 minutes. Integrate numbers and times into people's thoughts and ideas about water usage.

Technology is used in homes. Get people thinking "What can I do to help?"


NOV. 19
DEC. 11
FEB. 11


Jan. 14th Brainstorm:


- ways to manipulate water distribution

- new kinds of distribution

- small changes, how to make the community sustainable

- average citizen can do a lot more if they were educated

- everyone should be looking to harvest rainwater

- train and assist others

- education by example

- water harvesting needs to become mainstream

- start with buckets

- structured water, clearing water’s memory. It pickes up info wherever it goes and by the time it gets to us it’s de-energized

- pillar of light

- things watered with structured water grow better

- technology of how water gets to us

- through pipes that destroy water because it pressurizes it



Convey to the average person:

Moving buckets
Rhythmic aspects

There is poetry in water – Rumy Lao Tzu

Water overcomes everything, it flows around, it absorbs

Show the amount of energy wasted in moving water by moving a big vat of water around in a circle, lots of chaos and noise while moving it around

Break this down in to activities such as showering, gardening, washing dishes.



Brainstorm Participants lifted a round table together and turned it to bring a water bottle around 360 degrees with much effort and spilling along the way, showing what it takes to get water from point A to point B [funny, and well done!]


NOV. 19
DEC. 11
JAN. 14


Feb. 11th Brainstorm:


What to do that is most effective?
How to appeal to the public?
Performance / technology – how technology can help us be more responsible

Key Technologies:

Low-flow faucets and toilets
Greywater / Blackwater
Reclaimed water
Composting toilets
  • Goals of technology – convenience of supporting the future, the earth, the wild
  • Why do we develop technology – it can`t be just for making life more convenient anymore
  • Plastic water bottles – an example of a breakthrough technology, but for what purpose? Just convenience?
  • We have all sorts of technology – how to apply?
  • Existing technology, cost & practicality
  • Community gardens/passive water harvesting, permaculture & xeriscape
  • Guide in kitchen w/suggestions and data
    1. don`t let water run
    2. turn off water
    3. meter in kitchen

Software – ask user about their water use, compare to worldwide statistics

“Futurism” – relying on the future to make life even more convenient – look at Disneyland`s futureland

Look beyond futurism

A paradigm shift away from technology just to make our lives easier – move toward protecting the planet, people, life…

Old technology vs new technology

“appropriate technology” that improves condition of planet for all sentient life forms

Bidet uses less water than what is needed to grow a tree for toilet paper

Carbon footprint calculator

Total gallon per day compared nationally/internationally


Step 1: educate
Step 2: empower
Step 3: do actual/active thing


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: