Planning for Long-Term Sustainability of Upper Verde River

M&A works with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other stakeholders on projects to enhance baseflows in the Upper Verde River and contribute to long-term sustainability.

OVERVIEW

The Verde River is a free-flowing perennial river in central Arizona. The river is ecologically important and is the source of water supply for many communities. It is threatened by climate change and groundwater pumping. TNC is working with local communities to implement projects that will sustain the river and associated riparian areas. M&A is supporting these goals by evaluating the hydrogeology and identifying projects that are likely to support baseflows and secure the support of the local communities.

SERVICES

Groundwater Management

  • Assimilated information from published reports about the hydrogeology of the Upper Verde watershed and prepared a science summary and large-scale base maps to set the hydrogeologic framework against which projects were evaluated.
  • Identified projects that are most likely to positively impact baseflow and evaluated them in terms of magnitude of potential flow benefits, technical feasibility, community support, and cost.
  • Facilitating a stakeholder engagement process with local, state, and federal land managers and NGOs to develop a list of priority projects and actions.
  • Prepared a fact sheet to assist with outreach and education about the ecological and human importance of the river.

Groundwater / Surface Water Evaluations

  • Conducted a capture fraction analysis to assess the relative impacts of groundwater pumping in different areas and from different depths on the Upper Verde River. We used the Northern Arizona Regional Groundwater Flow Model and similar methodology and plotted changes in simulated groundwater discharge to the Upper Verde River.
  • Prepared capture maps that highlight the areas of the aquifer that should be targeted for managed aquifer recharge and efforts to reduce current and potential future pumping.