An Intervention Manual for Implementing Water Savings Design Strategies for Community Food Hubs: A Case Study of the IRC Aquaponics Incubator
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a non-profit organization that prides itself in “responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises”. Through its New Roots program, IRC is using an aquaponics urban garden incubator site “to train refugee farmers in aquaponics agriculture and good business practices in the United States.” The site is an example of the conversion of brownfield into “healthfields” and sustainability and resilience initiatives including the Year of Healthy Communities Program-2017, the Maricopa County Food Systems Coalition, and other community health initiatives that involve major partners including the City of Phoenix.
Entering into the next development phase, IRC wants the site to be an opportunity for demonstrating some of the most innovative approaches to water reuse while contributing to a sustainable food network in the neighborhood and in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. One component created to support this goal is an intervention manual identifying water-sensitive design strategies and ways to scale or transfer to other IRC sites. As such, my project identified and framed guidelines for the selected strategies to use in addition to steps for scaling, transferring, and creating a “location” where all of this information could be held for future reference. The manual content was created around each strategy which included identifying general legal practices in Phoenix related to each strategy, defining key terminologies, detailing water budgets, and research gaps to overcome.