Arizona Republic Ruined Rivers
Arizona Republic Ruined Rivers
Verde River and the Santa Cruz River, both located in Arizona are subsiding as a result of pressure placed on them by human activity and exceedingly high levels of climate change. Both rivers are victims of significant human errors, which have seen their respective levels decline over the decades. The Verde River is on the danger of total decline as farmers along the riverbed dig wells in search of water for farming activities.
Verde River stretches for an estimated 150 miles. It is evident from analyses conducted of the insatiable demand by the urban population for water sourced from aquifers that feed the Verde River. In addition, a large number of wells drilled by farmers in the Arizona region are also to blame for the decline water quantities in the Verde River. The rivers illustrate strength and resilience in the event that there is adequate rainfall in this region. Irrigation is seen to be one of the most prevalent issues, which has been responsible for the decline in water levels in the Verde River. For instance, in Chino Valley, the author notes that Alfalfa has a large number of irrigated circles and squares covering hundreds of acres in the JWK Ranch in Yavapai County, which is seen to be largely responsible for the reduced water levels (McKinnon 7).
Shaun McKinnon in the article Water wells draining rivers at their source published in The Arizona Republic notes that state laws are ineffective in controlling and protecting the use of water from rivers in the area such as Verde from decline. In addition, the growth of populations in the urban areas such as cities surrounding the river is largely responsible for the deterioration of this important water source. In addition, it is important to note that conservationists and hydrologists note that beyond the rugged canyon in Prescott, the Verde River could be on the verge of drying up if ranches within the area continue to drill for water to irrigate their farms (McKinnon 11).
In addition, the author also notes that there are a significant number of wells, which have not be approved and monitored in this region. State laws are inadequate to control and protect the Verde River and others from the excessive pumping being conducted by ranchers. Furthermore, there is minimal regard amongst local leaders and lawmakers to develop legal frameworks that can guide water usage. This is vital to ensure conservatory measures are undertaken for the sole purpose of the saving rivers in Arizona. Water Export Proposal facilitated the recognition of the damage of the excessive water pumping on the Verde River to be termed as one of the most endangered rivers in the United States.
The Verde River is an important competent of Arizona given that it provides a consistent and reliable source of water all year round. The article also notes that the rivers in the state are not only meant for human consumption, but also provide support to wildlife and the riparian areas. Thus, there is a need for developing mechanisms that will ensure sustainable usage and preservation of water in the rivers in state of Arizona. It is evident of the possible death of rivers in the desert state if adequate action is not undertaken in terms of developing appropriate legal frameworks and policies to protect important water sources such as the Verde River and others.
In Rivers Have No More To Give A Greedy State People Have Robbed Desert Waterways Of The Ability To Survive. Water Laws Offer Little Protection. Is It Too Late To Save Our Rivers? The author notes that Desert Rivers such as Santa Cruz and the Verde are susceptible to changes based on weather conditions. They can swell because of thunderstorms and shrink after the rains. In addition, they rely on specific sources of water namely mountain snow runoff, groundwater, and springs. The article notes that the gradual increase in demand for water and exploration of new sources such as aquifers and springs is reducing the water levels in Desert Rivers in the state of Arizona. In addition, the article emphasizes that the drilling of wells to source for water is largely to blame for the reduced water levels in the Santa Cruz River.
The Santa Cruz in its u-shaped strength flows underground, such that a majority of the settlements is only in areas where the water has risen to the surface. Some areas that illustrate this premise include Tucson, which was developed along the riparian areas of the river. Population growth and increase in demands for water to meet varying needs such as farming, domestic, and industrial use, which resulted in the fading of the river. The decline in available water has altered the habitat of this area and in the process resulted in mass movements of wildlife and people.
The article emphasis on the need for immediate action in order to ensure that the rivers do not adhere to precedence of dried up rivers such as Salt and Gila in phoenix. In addition, the damage caused to a habitat by inconsiderate usage of water is extensive which necessitated the need by authorities on the San Pedro River to fence it off from any potential public access. It is evident that humanity has played a significant role in depletion of the vast freshwater resources in the country to meet population and industrialization demands. People exploit rivers because they think of it only as a resource and commodity that can provide benefits rather than as an integral part of human existence.
The Santa Cruz River faced numerous threats such as poor ranching techniques especially on the watershed areas, and excessive water pumping by the Nogales, Sonora to meet demands of an ever-growing population. The article notes that there is need for immediate action through education of local communities ho rely on the land and water for survival on the various techniques that they can use in optimizing water and land usage. In addition, this also extends to providing them with techniques and strategies that are adequate in ensuring that water is conserved for future generations and more so to maintain a balance within the ecosystem and habitat of this area.
In addition, in the article, the author notes of the importance of providing legal frameworks and policies, which would provide guidance and support in conservative measures aimed at ensuring the survival of rivers in Arizona. Furthermore, the author notes that community involvement is also an effective means of creating awareness, support and ensuring an aggressive approach towards conservation. Involving all people in the community provides them with an opportunity to learn about the effects of their actions and strategies that they can adopt to save the rivers. Furthermore, the questionable release of effluent wastewater is also an issue of concern given the health and ecological implicates of such release (McKinnon 9).
From the current state of the Santa Cruz and Verde rivers in Arizona, there is need for an aggressive approach to save these rivers. This is reliant on the presence of community goodwill in the entire state to ensure that a combined approach is used to ensure survival of these rivers for future generations and habitats. A community approach involves providing education to all members of the community given that they all have direct roles in ensuring the survival of the rivers in these areas. Educating children, ranchers and other members of the public is integral given that they are the primary users and beneficiaries of these two rivers (McKinnon 14).
Conservation should also take into account concerns such as ranching activities, farming, urban center needs for clean water for both domestic and industrial purposes. In addition, conservation should also take into account culture, social, and financial aspects of the various communities in establishing the legal frameworks to support such activities.
McKinnon, Shaun. “Rivers Have No More To Give A Greedy State -People Have Robbed Desert Waterways Of The Ability To Survive. Water Laws Offer Little Protection. Is It Too Late To Save Our Rivers?” The Arizona Republic. August 6, 2006. Web. February 5 2015.
McKinnon, Shaun. “Water wells draining rivers at their source.” The Arizona Republic. Aug. 7, 2006. Web. February 5 2015. https://d2l.arizona.edu/d2l/le/content/308078/viewContent/2353116/View
McKinnon, Shaun. “Efforts to resuscitate rivers having limited success.” The Arizona Republic. Aug. 10, 2006 .Web. February 2015. https://d2l.arizona.edu/d2l/le/content/308078/viewContent/2353113/View
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