Water restores native species along the Santa Cruz River

Water project restores wildlife along the Santa Cruz River

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Since, Tucson Water restored water into the Santa Cruz River near downtown last June, wildlife, plants and microorganisms are thriving under the new flow.

“There’s suddenly a resource here that these species have depended on for the entirety of their existence that they now have again,” said Luke Cole, associate director for resilient communities and watersheds at the Sonoran Institute.

He said the new vegetation attract many types of animals including over 40 species of dragonflies and damsel flies as well toads, coyotes, foxes and more.

"The presence of water is really something that's amazing," he said. "It's functioning for wildlife and people like an oasis."

Tucson Water flows up to 2.8 million gallons of recycled water into the river each day as part of the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project.

Cole said flows in the river can stretch up to one mile north and help to improve the quality of the water.

“People should care about this because it’s an unbelievable amenity that’s right here along the loop,” he said.

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