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Natural Resources

Verde watershed is a significant resource

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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The Verde River, located in Central Arizona, is the master drainage of the 5,661-square-mile Verde River Watershed that extends from Seligman on the north to just north of Mesa, where it empties into the Salt River. Its watershed encompasses communities in the Prescott area, Verde Valley and the Sedona area.

The watershed's surface waters represent some of the few remaining perennial streams in Arizona.

The Verde River runs nearly freely from its source springs near Paulden for approximately 137 miles before reaching Horseshoe Reservoir north of Phoenix.

The groundwater and surface waters of the watershed are virtually the sole source of water to all residents, animals, plant species and aquatic creatures living within the watershed. Further, they are a critical source of water for those residents and businesses in the Phoenix metropolitan area that are supplied by the Salt River Project, which receives up to 40 percent of its water from our watershed.

Water from our watershed is the lifeblood of millions of Arizona residents and is crucial to our region and Arizona's economic viability.

The Verde River Watershed is an asset of the American people. More than two-thirds is managed by federal agencies. Federal lands include parts of the Prescott, Kaibab, Coconino and Tonto national forests.

Within these forests are eight federally designated wilderness areas that help provide habitat for 270 species of birds, 94 species of mammals and 76 species of native amphibians and reptiles. As reliant as humans are on water, so are these species.

Recognizing the uniqueness of the Verde River south of Camp Verde and of Fossil Creek, Congress has designated these waters as Wild and Scenic

Rivers. Fossil Creek, a channel of emerald-green water set in travertine, is a riparian paradise in an arid upland desert area.

The state of Arizona has designated Oak Creek a Unique Arizona Waterway. Most of the surface waters within the watershed are also critical habitat for federally listed endangered and threatened species.

Humans play an essential role in the preservation of the groundwater and surface water within the watershed.

Future articles will highlight the critical interconnection between our groundwater and surface water systems while identifying how groundwater pumping affects the viability of our surface waters, riparian habitat, wildlife, quality of life and economy.

Throughout our nation citizens have come to realize that the sustainability of our natural resources are dependent on our understanding the water resources and working together in a collaborative effort to plan for their conservation and preservation.

The Verde River Watershed's rivers, creeks and springs are an indicator of the health of our water supply.

The Verde River Basin Partnership provides additional water resource information on our website at www.vrbp.org or contact us at info@vrbp.org.

The Verde River Basin Partnership, dedicated to the preservation of the surface water and groundwater of the Verde River Watershed, is launching a series of articles to promote and inform residents of our valued natural resources within the watershed, which will appear once a month.



Copyright 2012 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: September 12, 2012



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