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Water Quality

Adequate and quality water resources are essential to the environmental sustainability of the greater Tucson region. Pima Association of Governments helps to preserve and improve the valuable water resources within Pima County’s vast watersheds through regional collaboration and information sharing.

PAG is the state-designated water quality planning agency for the Pima County region, excluding tribal lands. A key part of this role is creating the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan, also known as the 208 Plan, required by Section 208 of the U.S. Clean Water Act. The document defines regional integrated planning of wastewater, stormwater, surface water, groundwater and solid waste, and is approved at the state and federal levels.

Through its 208 Consistency Reviews, PAG reviews applications for new, expanded or remediated wastewater discharges in accordance with the regional 208 Plan. PAG coordinates with local governments to discuss water quality concerns and integrated water issues through its Environmental Planning Advisory Committee and Watershed Planning Subcommittee.

Water resources in the greater Tucson region include groundwater, Central Arizona Project water, surface water, reclaimed water (recycling treated effluent) and stormwater. The region depends on water to sustain residential, agricultural and industrial interests as well as natural habitat and public spaces.

PAG’s work in stormwater pollution prevention aims to keep water in our streets and washes as clean from harmful pollutants as possible. PAG coordinates with its members to identify effective stormwater management practices and public education outreach opportunities.

Water reliability is studied through PAG’s roles in monitoring Cienega Creek and Davidson Canyon’s water levels every quarter, producing a shallow groundwater report, and participation in the Lower Santa Cruz River Basin Study.