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April 9th: The Day that Water WON! - OK - we came in 2nd... but still raised over $38K!

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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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.



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

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 (note that the date for the event is April 9th but you can schedule your donation NOW). 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.

Promoting People Power - Green Living Co-op members get it done!

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.

Trust WMG staff member and water harvesting guru, Brad Lancaster, to have certifiably clean humanure!



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.

From Green Streets to Emerald City – Green Infrastructure turns nuisance water into a vibrant sense of place.

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, 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 WMG 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.



 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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One thing that I think deserves a special mention is this: These changes are happening in LARGE URBAN AREAS where hundreds of thousands, even millions of people live.

While most organizations balk at taking on the extreme amount of work that changing large urban areas require, Watershed Management Group has stepped up and worked with all levels of government to get these projects approved and in the ground. This has taken a huge amount of skill and patience on their part but the payoff is massive and well worth it in the end.

WMG is now being invited to participate in projects in other parts of the Western US as well, including California, Montana, Idaho and New Mexico.

WMG will be hosting its flagship Water Harvesting Certification course in Albuquerque in September of this year for the first time. See THIS POST for details.
 
Ty Morrison
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Jen & Brad:

Kudos and much success.

As I mentioned to Jen when I visited last month, growing up in Tucson, we were interested in things 'Permaculture' long before we knew it had a name. I worked for the founders of SAWARA when it was just getting started in 1982.

Here is a brief history that I share so that the WRG builds on previous foundations rather than starting their own which duplicates effort. I think Marybeth is still living in the Village of Oak Creek (Sedona) and would love to know that her legacy was emerging as a global effort.

http://ag.arizona.edu/SWES/tucwater2/sawara.html

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Ty - that's awesome and thanks for sharing that link AND for being one of the pioneers in water harvesting. It truly will be up to the arid regions of the world to continue to design solutions for the water issues facing us today and in the future.

We are all in this together.

Please pet the fainting goats for me!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Hooray! Permaculture News has picked up on this: http://permaculturenews.org/2014/04/08/april-9th-day-water-won-usa/

People who live in States where water harvesting is currently illegal are looking to Arizona's legislation and precedents to bring to their own state Legislatures. Together we can turn grey infrastructure GREEN and make water harvesting a right in all States.
 
Ty Morrison
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OK, now you did it...

Where is the list of information that I need to distribute here in Idaho to make Rainwater Harvesting for a Residence (In particular) legal?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Ty - let me email some folks in Tucson and see if they have a package of info they have for states like ID and CO who are fighting for this legislation. Give me a little while because we are all diverted from our regular duties because of the event above which is tomorrow.

I'll let you know what I find out.
 
Ty Morrison
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I can wait, as you have much bigger agenda items right now.

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Some people will do anything for a donation!

WMG Landscape Architect and Green Streets lead - James DeRoussel (guitar), Joe Silins - workshop instructor (orange tutu) and Kieran Sikdar, project manager (blowup banjo).

What started off as a nice little music break on the patio at WMG headquarters....



...became an impassioned solo.... Kieran pours his soul into his music! Joe, in the background, gives his non-verbal critique...



The situation quickly grew contentious as Kieran implied that guys in orange tutus might not be the best judge of good blowup banjo music!



But apparently the tutu is part of Joe's superhero outfit as he deftly deflects Kieran's assault with a non-deadly blowup banjo.



Watershed Management Group is currently holding at 7th place amongst 1277 non-profits engaged in this 24 hour fundraising extravaganza - will they be Numero Uno again?? Help them reach their goal by donating now! Plus, looks like Joe could use a new tutu (just sayin').
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Watershed Management is serious about conserving water - which is why their headquarters is equipped with a prototype composting toilet they hope to have approved as a low-cost option for all Arizona residents.

This composting toilet looks occupado! Lots of shit happening on Arizona Gives Day!



The combination of water harvesting earthworks and humanure are giving rise to some strange things at WMG HQ!



Look - the strange new growth is asking for your support on AZ Gives day! Won't you drop a little nutrient on us? Strange and wonderful things could come from it

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Somehow it seems appropriate that an organization who's trying to legalize inexpensive composting toilets for city use, ends up being... "#2". Yep - we came in 2nd but we still raised a massive amount of money in one day. Thank you to everyone on here who endured me getting a little crazy for water harvesting funding for a couple days. (Craziness Alert downgraded to yellow...)

From Watershed Management Group's Facebook page:

We saw an amazing outpouring of generosity yesterday for Arizona Gives Day. You helped us raise more than $38,000 and finish in 2nd place--earning us a $10,000 prize! WMG is working to build the foundation for programs with 50-year timelines to protect and restore rivers in the Southwest, and we couldn't do it with YOU. Thank you!






 
Permaculture isn't that hard to understand. Sometimes a little bump helps: richsoil.com/cards
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