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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions June 28, 2016

2/6/2014 12:42:00 PM
Editorial: Ed Wolfe has been Verde River's most instructive steward
Ed Wolfe
Ed Wolfe

If the Verde River ever goes dry, no one can blame Ed Wolfe.

For years, he has been telling a cautionary tale about current and future use of the river. He has been scrupulous about keeping data correct and worked hard to explain the situation in layman's terms.

So it is a deserved honor that the new Stewardship Award created by the Verde River Basin Partnership was named for Ed Wolfe.

With a PhD in geology and retired from U.S. Geological Survey, has always promoted education about our water resources. This being Arizona, and specifically Yavapai County, that got him politically crosswise with some people, but that did not slow him down.

He has stated repeatedly, in reports and in this newspaper, the connection between pumping groundwater and stream flow. These statements were not meant to feed the firestorm of controversy but to get Arizonans talking about ways to resolve water supply problems rather than just shouting about them.

"It is time we had a clear understanding of how river water supplies our groundwater and how our groundwater supplies the river," Wolfe told Verde Valley Newspapers nearly four years ago. "We will end up with a substantially clarified map of the problems, to help guide us in the future," he said.

A pragmatist rather than an alarmist, Wolfe backed the use of the Northern Arizona Regional Groundwater Flow Model without ever claiming it was perfect. It was simply the best tool available at the moment to gauge possible stream flow. He saw it as the best way to further the water education of everyone.

Wolfe was chairman of the Verde River Basin Partnership's Board of Directors and is currently the chair of the VRBP's Technical Advisory Group. He wrote the VRBP's easy-to-understand courses on water education. With his many volunteer hours, he has shown his concern for and love of the Verde River.

The next person to receive the Ed Wolfe River Basin Stewardship Award will have big boots to fill.

Related Stories:
• Verde River Partnership creates Stewardship Award

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