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Decades later, reclaimed water added to Santa Cruz Park by downtown

Santa Cruz Heritage Project to launch Monday
Posted: 9:44 PM, Jun 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-24 21:52:01-04
Santa Cruz River has clear water and new species

TUCSON, Ariz. — After two years of work, Tucson water will kick off the Santa Cruz Heritage Project Monday.

It's been decades since the Santa Cruz near downtown has seen water, but that's all about to change.

"We are taking it from where we have been discharging it up near Marana and the Santa Cruz River, and we're moving some of it to discharge it further down stream closer to downtown," Public Information Officer with Tucson Water James McAdam said.

This will be between Silver Lakes and Star Pass, adding just up to a mile of river south of Congress St, McAdams said.

"This is a proposal that many people have put forth and many different ways over decades," McAdams said.

This project will release up to 2.8 million gallons of reclaimed water daily. Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater provided by Tucson Water, and it currently represents about 10% of the water resources used in the community.

The hope is to improve and restore the area around the river near downtown.

"Grow some native vegetation, bring in birds and butterflies, and other types of wildlife and have people will enjoy it," McAdams said.

The water will be released on June 24th, but there's a bigger reason to have it on that day.

"It's the feast day for San Juan, and he's the patriot saint of the monsoon, so it's really all about water, and we just felt like this was the right day to do it," McAdams said.

The first celebration kicks off at 4:30 p.m. followed by the procession of Dia De San Juan at Mission Garden at 5:15 p.m. Both events are open to the public.