Sonoran Institute

For The Desert Rivers Initiative

  • Amount
  • Program
  • Date Awarded
  • Term
    12 Months
  • Type of Support
The goal of the Desert Rivers Initiative is to ensure that the Colorado River delta and estuary are restored with water flows that create habitat that sustains a diversity of wildlife, and provides community and economic benefits in the face of climate change. The Sonoran Institute will work to preserve and enhance river flows in the Rio Hardy River, which flows into the Colorado; ensure that water is used for the environment and community well-being; and build a broad base of support for river conservation and restoration in both the United States and Mexico.
About the Grantee
Grantee Website 
100 N Stone Ave., Suite 400, Tucson, AZ, 85701, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for the Arizona Renewable Energy and Land Conservation Project  
Arizona’s Sonoran Desert is one of the West’s most diverse environments in terms of plant and animal species. This renewal grant would support the Institute’s efforts to secure policies that will better protect public land and promote the development of carefully sited renewable energy projects. The Institute would use funds from the grant to educate federal and state policy makers and engage a broad array of constituencies.
for the Western Renewable Energy Project  
Arizona has some of the world's most promising solar potential, and state leaders hope to make it a pioneer in advancing global solar technology. The state mandates that investor-owned public utilities procure at least 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2025, and the state's proximity to California makes its renewable potential attractive to southern California utilities that must meet even more aggressive renewable energy targets. In addition, the state's two largest utilities, Arizona Public Service Company and Salt River Project, have major ownership interests in aging coal plants that are candidates for retirement in the next five years. However, Arizona's Sonora Desert is a world treasure, and its unique ecosystem would be harmed if solar development is not sited appropriately. This second-year grant to the Sonoran Institute is aimed at encouraging more rapid solar development, while ensuring habitat protection. Funds from this grant would also be used to develop renewable power alternatives to coal power currently fueling the Central Arizona Project, a federally-owned irrigation system.
for the Arizona Renewable Energy and Land Conservation Project  
Arizona has some of the world’s most promising solar potential. The state also contains one of the West’s most unique ecosystems, the Sonoran Desert, where most of the solar energy potential is found. This proposal would fund the Sonoran Institute’s work to bring together representatives of the solar industry and conservationists in an effort to identify the solar energy development sites in the Sonoran Desert with the least environmental impacts. The proposal would also fund the Sonoran Institute’s work to gain broad and diverse support for the permanent protection of ecologically important desert lands.

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