Ecological Implications of Verde River Flows

Published Feb. 9, 2009

arizona verde river environmental flows nature conservancy
The goal of this study was to compile the available scientific data and expert knowledge about the consequences of various water-use scenarios on groundwater levels and Verde River flows; specifically, consequences to the riverine ecological system. There is clear scientific evidence that the plants and animals in and along the banks of the Verde River depend on river flows, and would be affected if these flows diminish. Reduced base flow would alter aquatic habitat, reducing or removing populations of some fish and other animals and plants dependent on open water conditions for at least part of their life cycles. In addition, if base flow were to decrease and stream reaches changed from perennial to intermittent, the water table in the stream aquifer would show increased seasonal and year-to-year fluctuations, and the average annual depth from the land surface to saturated soils would increase.

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DOI: 10.3411/col.02091733