Protecting the Verde River

Linda StitzerThe Verde River is an Arizona treasure that must be protected for wildlife, recreation, and the communities that depend on it.

– Linda Stitzer, Arizona Senior Water Policy Advisor

The Verde River is a Thriving and Important River in the Southwest

The Verde River, located in north-central Arizona, supports one of the most important wildlife and recreation areas in the Southwest. The Verde River sustains one of Arizona’s last cottonwood-willow forests and provides habitat for otter, beaver, endangered fish and over 200 species of birds, including the largest number of bald eagles in the state. A 40-mile stretch of the Verde River is designated as a Wild and Scenic River, one of only two such designations in Arizona.

Groundwater Pumping and Water Withdrawals Threaten the Health of the Verde River

Flowing 185 miles from the Mogollon Rim to central Arizona, the Verde River section that flows through the Verde Valley is threatened by urban groundwater pumping as well as direct agricultural water withdrawals from the Verde River. Western Resource Advocates aims to reduce groundwater pumping to maintain a healthy Verde River by promoting water conservation. We work with Verde Valley communities and in Prescott where groundwater flow and springs gives rise to the Verde River. In the headwater’s region a planned groundwater pumping and water diversion project, “The Big Chino Pipeline”, would transport water to the Prescott area which will reduce water in the Verde River and harm river health.

Western Resource Advocates Promotes Water Conservation and Reuse to Support Communities and Protect the Verde River

Western Resource Advocates promotes water conservation and reuse to sustain water for our communities as a wiser alternative to expensive and environmentally harmful new water diversion projects. We provide information on solutions and help develop community water resource plans. We are also developing strategies to help homes and businesses conserve their well water – which pulls from the same groundwater that feeds the Verde River. Two studies, one produced for the Town of Camp Verde and another focused on areas in the Verde Valley where groundwater pumping has the most impact on the River, provide targeted strategies to reduce groundwater pumping. This conservation of well water can help keep healthy water flows to support wildlife and recreation while maintaining a high quality of life for everyone.

Related Publications

Water Demand and Conservation Potential of Verde Valley Wells

Water Demand and Conservation Assessment for the Town of Camp Verde

Celebrating Arizona Rivers – Verde River

Project Staff

Linda Stitzer

Linda Stitzer

Arizona Senior Water Policy Advisor