A river runs through downtown Tucson, or it soon will - Tucson News Now

A river runs through downtown Tucson, or it soon will

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It appears Tucson Water's goal of a river running through downtown Tucson is about to become a reality.

The project is called 'Agua Dulce", or sweet water and if it achieves its goal, it would be sweet indeed.

The project will take 34 million gallons of treated waste water a day from the Ina Road sewage treatment plant, pump it ten miles south to 29th and Santa Cruz and put it into the river bed.

Phase 1 will create a stream about 20 feet wide, which will meander through the channel one and a half miles to Congress, ending at the new Caterpillar office complex. Phase 2 will begin at Cushing Street and create the same stream further north.

It will be the first time water has flowed continuously for nearly 80 years. 

Tucson Water spokesman Fernando Molina says it achieves several goals. 

"We meet our long term water management objectives," he said. "It makes sure we have water for the long term."

Right now, the water discharged at Ina Road flows north into Marana and into Pinal County where Tucson Water has no control. 

By pumping the water to 29th Street, it keeps the water in Tucson and under legal control of Tucson Water. It also provides a reason for people to visit downtown, locals and tourists alike.

"We create an amenity for downtown that will also be a big draw to get people downtown," he said. 

"Once we put water in there, we'll start to see some of the natural vegetation come back," he said. "In fact, we're going to be revegetating with natural vegetation."

The cost will also be minimal since the water utility already has a pipeline with runs from Ina to 29th and the cost of pumping the water will be much smaller than if it had to build an entirely new pumping station. 

Another part of the plan is to divert some of the water at Cushing Street into the Rio Nuevo project to create a river walk which can also be used for business, retail or restaurants. 

The permitting process in nearly complete which gives Tucson Water confidence the project can be up and running, with water in the Santa Cruz by May 18, 2019.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Border Patrol agents arrest 57 undocumented immigrants

    Border Patrol agents arrest 57 undocumented immigrants

    Saturday, June 23 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-06-23 05:30:32 GMT
    (Source: Border Patrol Tucson)(Source: Border Patrol Tucson)
    (Source: Border Patrol Tucson)(Source: Border Patrol Tucson)
    Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a large group of aliens during a heat wave, some in distress, including a pregnant female, west of Lukeville Friday afternoon.  Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 center relaying information from persons within the group. The callers, stated they had crossed the border illegally, and requested assistance.   Ajo Station age...
    Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a large group of aliens during a heat wave, some in distress, including a pregnant female, west of Lukeville Friday afternoon.  Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 center relaying information from persons within the group. The callers, stated they had crossed the border illegally, and requested assistance.   Ajo Station age...
  • Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Firework sales begin, can be lit starting Sunday

    Friday, June 22 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-06-23 03:40:36 GMT

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday.  "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling, who runs the shop. Fireworks sparked her interest at an early age.   She started selling them when she was sixteen in ...

    The Fourth of July is creeping up quick, and that means several vendors like Desert Sky Fireworks on Cortaro and I-10 are getting ready for the season. The location set up shop on Friday. "Lining them all up on the road -- lighting them all up and competing with the neighbors," said Ashley Walling.

  • Volunteers clean graffiti out of Peppersauce Cave this weekend

    Volunteers clean graffiti out of Peppersauce Cave this weekend

    Friday, June 22 2018 9:53 PM EDT2018-06-23 01:53:32 GMT

    A popular spot for outdoor recreation has become overrun with graffiti once again. Dozens of volunteers will continue efforts to clean more than 1,500 graffiti tags around Peppersauce Cave this weekend. Central Arizona Grotto, a caving club out of Phoenix, has organized people from all over the state to help remove roughly 800 tags. Previous clean up trips by the group have already lifted approximately 750 tags, according to organizer Ray ...

    A popular spot for outdoor recreation has become overrun with graffiti once again. Dozens of volunteers will continue efforts to clean more than 1,500 graffiti tags around Peppersauce Cave this weekend. Central Arizona Grotto, a caving club out of Phoenix, has organized people from all over the state to he

Powered by Frankly