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One Dodge Flower neighbor focuses on water conservation — in his own yard

Dodge Flower neighborhood water harvesting
Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-14 20:40:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Inside the Dodge Flower neighborhood, there's a house with a garden that flourishes over the top of the property's fences. Nearly all of the plants are watered through water harvesting. That's because Bob Bortner and his husband Larry dug basins and installed large tanks that help them in their efforts to conserve water.

"What we did is lower the land near some palm trees and the water would pool there and the soak in," Bortner said

Over the last three years, they've built three basins and plan to build a fourth. The basins are lined and filled with different plants that use the water that pool in the basins.

"What I was trying to do is keep the water on the property to help with planting," he said. "Since we've put the basins in I've noticed how much greener everything is."

But beyond his walls, he hopes other neighbors will be inspired to be involved in water harvesting and creating a greener neighborhood. One of the ways he'd like to harvest water in the street is by installing chicanes. Chicanes are mid-block curb extensions that narrow the roadway and Bortner said it'll help with pushing the water away from the middle of the road.

"I'd like to have one right in front of our property to bring in some of the water and create some lushness around a little basin in front," he said.

Tina Giuliano is a reporter for KGUN 9. She is a native Arizonan and grew up in Scottsdale. Tina is passionate about storytelling and is excited to work telling Tucson's stories. Share your story ideas and important issues with Tina by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.