© Tucson Arts Brigade / The Water Festival

DEC. 11
JAN. 14
FEB. 11


Nov. 19th Brainstorm:


Water is the most valuable resource we have

Water should be appreciated

Water is sacred

Without water we would die



1. Climate change in the southwest is directly related to water. The southwest is a targeted area for the worst impact due to depleted water resources

2. While we undergo droughts here in the southwest there will be extreme water disasters like flooding in other parts of the world.



Canyons (example: Cienega Canyon, Davidson Canyon)

1. Canyons are the deliverers of water into the watershed that nourishes the aquifers. If the aquifer is not nourished then we don't have any recharge.

2. Off road vehicles go into the canyons and create ruts. Water can't follow the flow but erodes in ruts and builds pools so now plants and animals are affected.

Solution: Prohibit off road vehicles in the canyons

3. Davidson Canyon is no longer a Riparian environment.

Los Lomas by Gates Pass

1. The rivers are running dry and due to lack of water wildlife is looking for water wherever they can find it.

2. People were putting out pails of water for the wildlife. Is this good? The Department of Fish and Game says no food or water can be left out for the animals so now water pails are not put out for wildlife.

3. Swimming pools in the area are the major source of water for wildlife. Migrating ducks drink swimming pool water. This harms their health. There is no nutrition in the pool water and the ducks are malnourished.

Cottonwood Trees

1. Old cottonwood trees are breaking up due to drought and stress. There are no new saplings because there is no water.

2. Deer are eating the sprouts that do appear and the grasses too. This is their water.

3. Sides of waterways are eroding.




What do we put down the toilets? What goes in the ground? What goes down the sink? What is toxic waste?


Lead, paint, medications like Prozac...PROZAC is TOXIC WASTE!

And more questions:

1. Are there places to take your toxic waste? Reid Park?

2. Drug stores have places to recycle drugs

Water Bottles

1. This is a serious issue and it is not good. It takes 500 years to break down the bottles.



Biosphere 2

1. Their new mission is all about water. There is a column in their paper for students about the impact of medications going into landfills and down toilets and getting into the wells.

2. We should contact them about the festival.

The University of Arizona and other businesses

1. How much water does the University use or waste?

2. Businesses and the U of A all water green grass. In front of many schools there is green grass that must be watered. We live in the desert! Do we need green grass?

Human Life

1. An old hippie in Marin County in California lived in an isolated community on the coast. He lived there for 30 years, living what he thought was healthy lifestyle. When he got tested his body was full of toxins from the water.

2. Cell Phones and all electronics have metals that leach into our water when disposed of improperly.

ZPG - Zero Population Growth

1. There is only so much water.

2. The USA doesn't have population growth at this moment [CORRECTION: pop. increased from 2000-2005 by 5%, 8.6 million people- new census will be available next year-> increased death totals may be offset by immigration http://www.census.gov] but there are more developments in the desert.

3. Phoenix in 1950: 50,000 people; Phoenix today: 3.5 million



Art - Comic Books - word and visuals together are simple, easy and quick to understand and make a great impact. The Owl and Panther are a group that has done comic books. Do we want to involve them or do something similar?


1. Action and Education - engage what local systems are already set up and educate people about water issues. What is in place? Craigslist and Freecycle are great ways to get the word out about ideas and the resources we already have that many people in our community are unaware of.

2. What would be the possibility of curbside toxic waste pick up? It would work great for people who don't have cars. Is it safe?

3. "The Story of Stuff" on the internet is a great educational tool for people who are unaware.


NOV. 19
JAN. 14
FEB. 11

Dec. 11th Brainstorm:

1. 2009 - Tucson is more than 5 inches short of last year's level of water

2. Tucson is in its 14th year of drought

3. The Colorado River has dropped 12 inches of water in the last 10 years

4. The economic advantage of de-salinizing water - New Technologies

5. New emphasis on conservation (Mexico is increasing water rates)

6. More opportunities for the use of
* Perma-culture
* Catchment basins - re-charge basins
* Xero-Scaping
* Pourous pavers for driveways and parking lots

7. DO NOT put toxins down the drain
grease hospital waste
pharmaceuticals auto fuels and oils
hair dye

8. Recycling pick-up in the county by the county
City has solid waste and water delivery
County has jurisdiction over water waste

9. Begin to identify and support vanguard technology that supports the efficient reuse of resources

10. Think outside the "plastic box" to look at old ways of recycling with a new perspective...ie. playgrounds that serves a useful function as well.

11. Standards applied to manufacturing companies that require them to think through to the re-use or recycle the products and the packaging
*Create a Christmas package recycling program

12. The water crisis needs a song and maybe a dance
(follow-up to Dawning of the Age of Aquarius)

13. Jingles and Images
* don't be a drip
* super heroes - water savers
* water tap - gigantic size faucet and wrench with lots of people together to turn the tap on and to turn it off
* multi lingual - multi cultural
* "La Llorona" image being scared if there is not more water

14. No more water bottles!!!
toxic plastic 100 years to biodegrade waste of oil


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


Jan. 14th Brainstorm:


-       Money for recycling plastics

-       Tax incentives to businesses to recycle/reuse

-       Plastic bottles are unsafe after 1 use and this needs to be told

-       County – ensure they recycle

-       Tax people with lawns

-       Recovery of water for reuse

-       Comic books for kids about the environment

-       Youth groups to speak about it

-       Engage graffiti artists

-       UA should exhibit their conservation efforts

-       Reduce the number of pools

-       Sharing pools

-       Washes used as capillaries

-       Refugees – approach and get opinion and educate

-       In-house water gauge, in real time

-       Outlaw misting systems




A pollution monster that is killing/destroying fauna

Fasten plastic things, heavy metals, medication bottles, industrial waste, oil whatever, crating a vortex

Some people dressed as fish others as algae

The attachment that joins the junk is the monster

Someone comes with a net and cleans up

Little kids to carry signs to show to adults (wishes, facts) [THIS WAS PLAYED OUT AT THE GATHERING: A kid went from table to table with signs attached to him and held in his hands]

One sign with the water table through the years

Murals on butcher paper

Pollution monster being vanquished

Watershed as a character (Gaia)

Desert Water Spirit

As done in Chinatown festivals, instead of a dragon, a pollution monster or a stream of water


NOV. 19
DEC. 11
JAN. 14


Feb. 11th Brainstorm:


Bottle/plastic bag recycle

  • $.05/.10 on plastic/glass/aluminum cans and bottles. Deposit not refunded (unclaimed) goes to grant money fund
  • Grant money fund – water project/cisterns/watershed/physical water projects
  • Tucson local first, expand to Pima County, expand to state


  • Encourage use of reusable grocery sacks
  • Eventual prohibition of plastic grocery bags
  • Credit for use of reusable sacks at grocery stores
  • Start at local level. Tucson/Marana/Oro Valley, Pima County >> State


  • Where to get refund?
  • Where does refund come from?
  • Where does plastic go?
  • People to handle account refunds?

Drug disposal

  • Types: out of date/unused/Rx’s
  • Place: pharmacy   Police: to accept
  • Disposal: not to flush!!  Burn/smash, not landfills, not into water systems, must be local or people won’t use.
  • Education/outreach: Local >> U of A, college of pharmacy
  • Instructions on how to dispose ALL Rx’s
  • Why can’t pharmacy take old Rx’s and dispose of them?

Problem: would have to approach on state level, would need state legislation

Pill destroying vehicle (or machine) available to dump pills in that smashes pills into unusable powder, at locations such as pharmacies.

“Do not flush” (with descriptive picture- big pill or pill bottle dropping into toilet in a circle with slash over it) on prescription bottle.

Need legislation to take back and destroy


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: www.TucsonArtsBrigade.org