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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news October 6, 2015

4/9/2013 3:04:00 PM
Is Verde Valley's Water Budget Broken?
Tom O’Halleran
Tom O’Halleran

Bill Helm
Staff Reporter

CAMP VERDE - The Verde River Basin Partnership wants Verde Valley residents to ask themselves, "Is our water budget broken?"

Thursday at 4 p.m., the U.S. Geological Survey will answer that question, as they present the findings of their study: "Human Impacts on the Verde River's Steamflow, 1910-2109: Applying the USGS Northern Arizona Regional Groundwater Flow Model," at the Camp Verde Multi-Use Complex Auditorium, at 280 Camp Lincoln Road in Camp Verde.

The presentation, sponsored by the VRBP, discusses "the implications of human activity in a changing world," according to Verde River Basin Partnership chairman Tom O'Halleran.

The model is the result of the USGS's efforts to present the vast hydrologic and geologic research that has been conducted in the Verde Valley.

"This is a complicated issue," O'Halleran said. "People need to realize that there is no easy solution. The time to wait is over with. There needs to be a lot of cooperation.

"The end result is that we want to preserve the Verde River."

O'Halleran recently stated that the USGS has been using the Northern Arizona Groundwater-Flow Model to predict past, present and future affects from groundwater pumping on groundwater storage and surface waters of the rivers and creeks within the Verde Valley.

Ed Wolfe, retired geologist and member of the VRBP's coordinating committee, says the model "uses water levels in wells that are recorded, so changes in the stream flow are calibrated with real data.

O'Halleran also stated that the USGS used three computerized numerical simulations to estimate the impacts on the Verde River's hydrologic system. The studies were based, O'Halleran said, on conservative estimates of additional stress levels on the water resources.

"If we are impacting the Verde River, how will we find a way to not impact it," says O'Halleran. "What management techniques can we use?

For more information, go to the VRBP website at

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