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April 9th: The Day that Water Won! (USA)

Water harvesting earthworks at the WMG Learning Lab capture water after a rain

For one day, we have the opportunity to vote for sustainable water practices. We have the opportunity to vote for living systems — the very systems that permaculture is based on. Your vote can help fund the slowing, sinking and spreading of sustainable water practices that have far-reaching benefits for communities around the world.

Arizona-based, Watershed Management Group (WMG) will be competing with hundreds of other organizations during the 2nd Annual Arizona Gives Day to raise the most money for their cause within 24 hours. Last year, water won! People from around the globe voted with their dollars and helped WMG raise $35,000. And because they garnered the most donations that day, WMG also won an additional $15,000, bringing their total for the day to $50,000!

What does Watershed Management do?

How will WMG use my money?

More money = more programs. It’s as simple as that. Fully 83% of all funds go towards additional programs. Here’s how it breaks down:

This year, Watershed Management Group is setting its sights on raising $50,000 and has already secured $25,000 in matching funding so that your donations will have an even greater impact.

What are some of these programs?

Watershed Management Group works on a variety of levels to educate people, implement projects and create policy change on how we use water.

Education and implementation come together as Green Living Co-op members in Tucson, Phoenix and Santa Barbara use a barn-raising model to install rainwater and greywater harvesting projects at participants’ homes.

Once you host a co-op workshop, you get to show off a bit with this cool sign!

Poop Positive! – WMG’s Soil Stewards program and Brad Lancaster’s certifiably clean humanure overcome hurdles to the legal implementation of composting toilets. Brad’s humanure, and that of of 19 other Tucson composting toilet users, was tested at the University of Arizona ‘s Microbiology Lab for fecal coliforms and salmonella. The results are now in, and all the composted humanure samples are rated as EPA Class A biosolids — safe to use in your yard.

Watershed Management Group is now working to get their composting toilet designs officially approved with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Their composting toilet “how to” video has been viewed over 77,000 times to date.

WMG’s leadership in water harvesting and green infrastructure continues to grow with the passing of the Green Streets policy that WMG co-developed with the Tucson mayor’s office in 2013. And people around the country are taking note: recently the Natural Resources Defense Council awarded Tucson its Emerald City status for the green streets policy and rainwater harvesting rebate program.

I don’t live in Arizona – how does WMG affect me?

Chances are good that you live someplace that still has water issues. Across the country and around the world, water is getting more expensive and more communities are looking farther afield for water resources. If a desert city can turn its water problems around, that’s proof that it can be done anywhere.

A water harvesting class in India

Precedents are being set and policies written. Everyone from neighborhood activists to business leaders and politicians are participating in this effort. Watershed Management Group embodies what so many organizations strive to be – an organization that has made headway at all levels of society to change minds about how we think about and use water.

Santa Barbara Association of Realtors removes a water-thirsty lawn in favor of a rain garden

Please take a moment to VOTE NOW for a more sustainable future. Water can win again – but not without your help.

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