Conserve to Enhance

c2e logo with leaves and water drop

Conserve to Enhance

Conserve to Enhance (C2E) programs connect conservation actions with water for the environment by developing mechanisms for funding water-related environmental enhancements. 

This peer-reviewed article published in the AWWA Journal in 2012 describes the WRRC’s initial C2E efforts from concept development to pilot implementation in Tucson, AZ.  The Tucson pilot demonstrated the challenges and opportunities. Participation is the key to unlocking C2E’s enormous potential. University of Arizona research indicates that if just 5% of customers in the Tucson Water service area join Tucson C2E, they would conserve an estimated 250,000,000 gallons of water annually and provide more than $500,000 for restoration projects each year.  After the pilot phase, the WRRC supported the development of several programs across the state including Arizona Audubon C2E, Arizona Water Sentinels, Flagstaff C2E, Raise the River, Tucson C2E, and Yavapai C2E. Although WRRC does not have continued grant funding, guidance documentation is available.

Tucson C2E

Tucson C2E was established by the WRRC together with Tucson Water, Watershed Management Group, and Sonoran Institute in 2011 to address a common desire to ensure that our natural desert environment and riparian areas are sustained and valued as the community grows. The impact of the Tucson program from 2010-2020 included over $100,000 in funds raised, 12 community-led enhancement projects through C2E funded grants, over 600 participants, more than 1,000 donors, greater than 24,000,000 gallons saved, approximately 50,000 hours of volunteer labor, over 300 trees and shrubs, and the installation of at least 50 water harvesting features. Tucson C2E’s successful projects have raised community and professional awareness of green infrastructure practices as well as leadership and constituent support for funding these important efforts. Many aspects have been institutionalized now into a way of doing business within both the Tucson Water billing and the City’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure programs.

In 2024, the Tucson program became managed by an advisory committee in the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative, including many of the founding partners and continues to provide funding for riparian restoration initiatives in the Tucson Basin of the Santa Cruz Watershed. 

Learn more about C2E