GWS was launched in the United States in 2017 and has reached over 400 planners, elected officials, and water resource managers across the Colorado River basin states including Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and California. The GWS program empowers local leaders to implement plans and policies that support community and regional water resilience. We are planning to use the GWS expertise and methodology in the border cities, with some adaptations to meet the needs of border communities. 
Sonoran Institute, with support from the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, started the  US-MX Border Growing Water Smart initiative in 2021 by assessing shared water and associated land use challenges for communities along the US-Mexico border. Over 30 experts on cross-border issues were interviewed in 2022 to help guide the development of this program including a convening of US-MX subject matter and regional experts in April 2022 to review and affirm opportunities. 


Supported by the overall acceptance and positive feedback in the U.S.  -Mexico Border Assessment, Sonoran Institute hosted listening sessions for two sister cities along the U.S.-Mexico border (Ambos Nogales and Mexicali-Calexico) with promising results and an overall perception of great opportunities for the GWS program implementation along the border.  

We are seeking contractors! Send your proposal

Due date Oct. 2, 2023


The Sonoran Institute is recruiting a consultant to assist in the Border Growing Water Smart Guidebook Development, Workshop Design, and Research Activities associated.

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Join Us! Attend an upcoming Growing Water Smart Workshop 
Next Workshop February, 2024 
Nogales, Sonora 
Interested in attending an upcoming training or supporting our work?
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mail at


Featured Resources

Listen + Learn

Webinar: Growing Water Smart Introduction
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Webinar: Where to Start? 5 Approaches to Integrate Water and Land Use Planning
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Driving Forces of Change
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