AuthorBreed, Carol S.
AffiliationMuseum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff
KeywordsWater resources development -- Arizona.
Hydrology -- Arizona.
Hydrology -- Southwestern states.
Water resources development -- Southwestern states.
Colorado River basin
Water allocation (policy)
Colorado River compact
Water resources development
River basin development
Central Arizona project
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RightsCopyright ©, where appropriate, is held by the author.
Collection InformationThis article is part of the Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest collections. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science and the University of Arizona Libraries. For more information about items in this collection, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PublisherArizona-Nevada Academy of Science
AbstractSouthwestern rivers are few in numbers and low in discharge. The physiographic and climatic reasons for this are discussed. To the east of the 100th meridian, rainfall is reliable and agriculture is stable; while to the west, there is a chronic deficit of water, droughts are frequent and lifestyles must be accordingly adjusted. Dam building results in greatly increased silting behind the dam in both the river and its tributaries and accelerated channel erosion below the dam. Total flow must also decrease due to withdrawals and increased evaporation from reservoirs. The correction of apparent errors in measuring the virgin flow of the Colorado River now indicates that this flow is about 15 maf/yr. Current legal allocations total 17.5 maf/yr of river water, including the central Arizona project (cap), which will withdraw 1.2 maf/yr. While the river is being dammed and overallocated beyond all reason, the water table is being mined at the alarming rate of 20 ft/yr. In central Arizona, it has dropped to about 250 ft below the surface, and even if all withdrawals ceased immediately, it would take many centuries of of desert rains before it would return to its former level of 50 ft. The cap water will cancel only about 1/2 of this overdraft annually. A glance at the phoenix area today shows that rain follows neither the farmers plow nor the subdividers bulldozer.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Salinity Control Planning in the Colorado River System (invited)Maletic, John T.; Water Quality Office, Engineering and Research Center, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)In the lower reaches of the Colorado River, damages from the increase in salinity to U.S. water users are now estimated to be about 53 million dollars per year and will increase to about 124 million dollars per year by the year 2000 if no salinity control measures are taken. Physical, legal, economic, and institutional aspects of the salinity problem and proposed actions to mesh salinity control with a total water management plan for the basin are discussed. A scheme is presented for planning under the Colorado River water quality improvement program. Recent legislative action is also discussed which provides control plans to improve the water quality delivered to Mexico as well as upper basin water users. These efforts now under study will assure the continued, full utility of Colorado River water to U.S. users and Mexico. However, more extensive development of the basin's natural resources puts new emphasis on total resources management through improved water and land use planning to conserve a most precious western resource - water.
Management Alternatives for Santa Cruz Basin GroundwaterFoster, K. E.; Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1978-04-15)Combined urban, agricultural, industrial and mining groundwater withdrawal from the Santa Cruz River Basin exceeds natural aquifer replenishment by 74,000 acre -feet annually. Four ameliorative water management alternatives are presented singly and in combination with one another. These alternatives are importing Colorado River water, exchanging treated effluent with mining and agricultural interests for groundwater, interbasin water transfer, and retiring farmlands for groundwater rights. These management philosophies are applicable to most economically emergent urban areas in arid and semiarid regions.
United States-Mexico Water Agreements and Related Water Use in Mexicali Valley: A SummaryDeCook, K. J.; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)A summary is given of interrelated, technical and institutional events concerning the Colorado River which took place between the United States and Mexico from 1849 to 1974 with emphasis on the 1961-1974 period. Until the treaty of 1944, Mexico had had no guarantee of a specific annual quantity of water, but in the years after 1945, when a guarantee of 1.5 million acre-feet per year was established, more than that amount was available for use. Salinity problems arose, and in 1965 an agreement for a 5-year plan for alleviating the technical and political difficulties surrounding the salinity question was made. In 1973 it was agreed that the United States would build, within approximately 5 years, a facility for desalting the saline drainage water entering Mexico. Fulfillment of the technical provisions for this agreement requires, in any event, the timely provision of federal funds to construct and operate the physical works. The several states should receive assurance that their rights and those of their respective water users will not be impaired within the legal operation of the agreement.