Arizona rivers suffer greatly from groundwater pumping. Many rivers, seeps, and springs that once ran year-round are now dry most of the year. Groundwater pumping can drain the most robust watercourses, leaving behind lifeless, dry river channels that do little more than channel stormwater to lower elevations. The majority of the living landscape that rivers nurture is lost.
Sadly, the Verde River in central Arizona is no exception. For now, the Verde is a still-wild, lush, and beautiful scenic area throughout most of its range. It deserves protection of its wildlife resources and recreational opportunities—not just the municipal and farming uses that its extracted waters satisfy.
The Center is urging the city of Prescott, town of Prescott Valley, and town of Chino Valley to look at aggressive water conservation and growth management activities in order to avoid depleting the Big Chino aquifer. Before proceeding with their plans to pump and transport groundwater, the cities must prepare a comprehensive mitigation plan – such as a Habitat Conservation Plan – to ensure that stream flow will not be diminished in the Verde River.
Click here to write letters to the mayors of Prescott and Prescott Valley. Please urge them to enact stronger water conservation and growth management strategies before resorting to water transportation. And before any such water pipeline is installed, the cities must provide a detailed plan to protect the flows of the upper Verde River. [Note: You may receive a response to your letter from the mayor(s). Please read our comments in reference to that letter.]
Click here to send a letter to the mayor of Chino Valley urging her to enact stronger water conservation and growth management strategies before resorting to water transportation. And before any such water pipeline is installed, the city alone or in collaboration with the other communities must provide a detailed plan to protect the flows of the upper Verde River.
Click here to send a letter to Steve Owens and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and ensure that the public gets to weigh in on this critical discussion of the Verde River’s future. Request public notice of the Arizona Pollution Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) general construction permit application by the cities to construct the pipeline.
Click here to write letters to the editor of the local and state newspapers.
Please sign our petition to the decision-makers charged with protecting the Verde.
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