As Lisa Shipek walks past the rain garden at the Watershed Management Groups living lab, shes walking past a cheap way to save water.

You can start with something really simple. Right in the ground, earthen basins. she explained.

Their living lab includes a garden with deep troughs in the ground that collect rainwater. That rainwater is filtered from some of their water-efficient sinks and their washing machine.

So its going instead out to your landscape and serving as an irrigation source for plants so you dont have to use City water, she said.

However, conserving water is also an issue at the state level.

Governor Hobbs is using money from the American Rescue Act to invest $40 million towards sustainable solutions for managing groundwater.

Shipek said that should start with the State recognizing how ground water and surface water are connected.

That would go a long way to protecting our groundwater but also protecting surface flows in our river, she said.

Hobbs says the money will also go towards critical water infrastructure.

Shipek thinks that should go towards state-wide incentives.

We could have a state-wide rainwater harvesting incentive, she said.

Using that money towards reusing water is also Tom Prezelskis mind.

Promoting like gray water, promoting water conservation for industry, he said.

Hes the program manager for Rural Arizona Action and is a water activist in the Tucson area.

As for where else hed like to see the money go, he said it should go towards upgrading older water infrastructure that leaks.

However, he also thinks it should go towards groundwater. He said the State should designate more Active Management Areas, which are areas that have restrictions on how to use and remove groundwater.

So that these local governments can actually plan for their water future, he said.