AuthorBlomgren, Nathan Frederick
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Sonoita Creek Basin covers 270 square miles in southeastern Arizona, Santa Cruz County. The city of Patagonia is the main population center in the watershed with about 1000 residents. There are numerous surface water rights and applications to appropriate the waters of Sonoita Creek, which flows perennially from the city of Patagonia to Patagonia Lake. The relatively small flows of the Creek are divided among numerous users, including ranching, irrigation, municipal water supply, domestic water supply, recreation and wildlife. The separation of groundwater and surface water in Arizona water law makes the legal determination of rights difficult in many circumstances. The eventual status of many vested water rights is unknown because the law is being written at the time of publication. A Court decision on a method to identify wells that are pumping appropriable water is pending, after which the Gila River Adjudication will examine all water rights in the watershed and decide on their legitimacy. Water quality regulation in the Sonoita Creek Basin is limited to drinking water and effluent standards, and monitoring of abandoned mines. The determination of the source of water supply for Patagonia will dictate their treatment requirements. The struggle to replace an aging wastewater treatment plant is ongoing. High acidity and metal content in waters percolating through abandoned mines continues to be monitored and the threat to downstream targets assessed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Hydrology and Water Resources