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Arizona Water Science Center

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Verde River below Tangle Creek, above Horseshoe Dam

Photo by Bert Duet


Arizona Weather Radar



USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State. Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

Water Resources of Arizona

Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Web page for the water resources of Arizona; this is your direct link to all kinds of water-resource information. Here you'll find information on Arizona's rivers and streams. You'll also find information about ground water, water quality, and many other topics.

Groundwater in Arizona

Image of SIR 2010-5180 Report Cover

Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5071
Water Availability and Use Pilot: Methods Development for a Regional Assessment of Groundwater Availability, Southwest Alluvial Basins, Arizona

By Fred D Tillman, Jeffrey T. Cordova, Stanley A. Leake, Blakemore E. Thomas, and James B. Callegary

To provide updated information to stakeholders addressing issues surrounding limited groundwater supplies and projected increases in groundwater use, the USGS Groundwater Resources Program instituted the Southwest Alluvial Basins Groundwater Availability and Use Pilot Program to evaluate the availability of groundwater resources in the alluvial basins of Arizona. The principal products of this evaluation of groundwater resources are updated groundwater budget information for the study area and a proof-of-concept groundwater-flow model incorporating several interconnected groundwater basins. This effort builds on previous research on the assessment and mapping of groundwater conditions in the alluvial basins of Arizona, also supported by the USGS Groundwater Resources Program.

Arizona Groundwater Conditions Interactive Map

What is the current status of groundwater conditions in Arizona? How do conditions compare now versus before widespread development of groundwater? How far have water levels fallen, both in the past and recently? Have any wells shown rises in water levels, either in the past or recently? What are the recent trends in groundwater levels? How is groundwater being used in the different basins? What are the expected population changes in these basins? Where can I go for more detailed information? The Arizona Groundwater Conditions interactive map service website was created with funding from the USGS Water Availability and Use Program and in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to address questions such as these.

AzWSC Photo

San Juan River delt of Lake Powell
Photo by Bob Hart
(August 17, 2010)

Corey Sannes (left), Nancy Hornewer (right), of the Arizona Water Science Center, and Dave Roth (center), of the National Research Program, prepare to process a 20-foot sediment core collected in the San Juan River delta of Lake Powell. The core will be analyzed for various chemical constituents including organic compounds as part of the AzWSC Lake Powell Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring Program.

Arizona Water Science Center Portals

Real-Time Streamflow Data Portal

Real-Time Streamflow Data Portal
Access real-time streamflow data using an interactive map!

Arizona Wild Fires - Response, Assessment, and Monitoring by the USGS, AzWSC

Arizona Wild Fires - Response, Assessment, and Monitoring by the USGS, AzWSC

Hydrologic Conditions

Drought Conditions for Selected Basins

The USGS, in cooperation with the Governor's Drought Task Force, has developed a series of maps showing drought intensity for selected drainage basins in Arizona. To view historical maps, learn how the maps are developed, and download images, visit our drought page. Drought conditions for
November 2011

Icon for map of drought conditions for November 2011
Click to view larger image

Historic Hydrologic Events in Arizona

Arizona Ground-Water Conditions Interactive Map

Arizona Water Science Center Highlights

Sound iconNew iconAzWSC hydrologist Fred Tillman is interviewed on NPR about groundwater levels in Arizona.
(For more information, see USGS SIR 2011-5071, Water Availability and Use Pilot: Methods Development for a Regional Assessment of Groundwater Availability, Southwest Alluvial Basins, Arizona)

Movie icon Microgravity Measurement for Groundwater Analysis
A video discussing the Gravity Meters used at the USGS Arizona Water Science Center.

Movie icon Seepage Investigation: Clear Creek and Little Colorado River
The USGS Arizona Water Science Center performed a seepage investigation on reaches of Chevelon Creek, Clear Creek, and a reach of the Little Colorado River during the fall of 2010. The investigation is in cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Region and is part of a larger program that monitors the Coconino Aquifer in Northeastern Arizona. The video describes the process of a seepage investigation. In the video, USGS hydrologists and hydrographers measure discharge and water-quality parameters on Clear Creek and the Little Colorado River to better understand and characterize the Coconino Aquifer.

Movie icon USGS CoreCast—Streamgages: The Silent Superhero
Whether you drink water from your tap, use electricity or canoe down your local river, chances are you benefit from USGS streamgage information. So what is a streamgage and what does it do for you? This CoreCast episode gives you the inside scoop on your silent superhero.

Movie icon USGS Streamflow Measurement at Pinto Creek near Miami, Arizona — January 28, 2010
USGS streamgagers, Mike Sanders, Arthur Rees, and Mike Schilling, are servicing the Pinto Creek near Miami, Arizona streamflow-gaging station (09498502) and making a streamflow measurement on January 28, 2010. Flow was measured to be 207 cubic feet per second (CFS) on the 28th but peaked earlier on the 22nd at an estimated 7,400 cfs. Debris from the flood flow can be seen in trees and on the over bank areas.

Movie icon Video showing Simulated Zones of Capture of Surface Water by Groundwater Pumping, upper part of the San Pedro Basin
USGS Hydrologists Stan Leake, Don Pool, and Jim Leenhouts used a groundwater flow model of the upper part of the San Pedro Basin in Arizona to produce capture maps (Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5207) to help managers understand the possible timing of effects groundwater pumping in the lower basin fill has on streams, springs, and evapotranspiration by riparian plants. Maps in the report for pumping times of 10 years and 50 years show patterns that reflect the fraction of pumping that is simulated to be a reduction of water available to the riparian system. For example, on the map for a withdrawal time of 10 years, a capture-fraction zone of 0.5-0.6 shows areas where capture or depletion of surface water and evapotranspiration will be 50-60 percent of the well pumping rate at that time. The accompanying video takes the analysis one step further by showing how some of these simulated capture zones evolve over a 100-year period of pumping. In this example, capture zones in ranges of 0.5-0.6, 0.6-0.7, 0.7-0.8, 0.8-0.9, and 0.9-1.0 are shown.

Movie icon Video of Yuma Field Office staff demonstrating acoustic technology to members of Arizona Floodplain Managers Association on November 7, 2008
The USGS Yuma Field Office, which is headed by Hugh Darling, has a young and enthusiastic staff implementing new technology to improve the precision of data collected. The staff has embraced hydroacoustics using both Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meters (ADVM) and Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP). Nearly 100 percent of stream flow measurements made by the Yuma Field Office staff are made with acoustic instruments while using current meters as quality assurance. One of the most critical roles the Yuma Field office plays is the quantification of flow in the Colorado River, its tributaries, and diversions. This video shows the Yuma Field Office staff demonstrating acoustic technology to members of Arizona Floodplain Managers Association on November 7, 2008.

Movie icon Video of Havasu Canyon after August 17, 2008 high-flow event
The video describes observations made by AzWSC scientists on the high-flow event that occurred around August 17, 2008, in Havasu Canyon on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, northern Arizona. The Havasupai Indian Tribe lives in the remote Havasu Canyon, a tributary canyon to Grand Canyon National Park, and is only accessible by foot, horseback, or helicopter. The high-flow event caused massive erosion below the village of Supai, resulting in the creation of new water falls and the cessation of Navajo Falls. AzWSC scientists made assessments of the high-flow event on August 28th and 29th, 2008, and made an indirect measurement of the peak flow that passed through the village of Supai. A preliminary calculation of the peak flow is 6,000 cubic feet per second. (August 29, 2008 — narrated by Greg Fisk and Steve Wiele)

Recent Publications

Fact Sheet 2010-3097 New iconFact Sheet 2010-3097
The Border Environmental Health Initiative桰nvestigating the Transboundary Santa Cruz Watershed
by Laura M. Norman, James Callegary, Charles van Riper III, and Floyd Gray
Open-File Report 2011-1198 Open-File Report 2011-1198
Groundwater, Surface-Water, and Water-Chemistry Data, Black Mesa Area, Northeastern Arizona—2009–10
by Jamie P. Macy and Christopher R. Brown
Scientific Investigations Report 2011�66 Scientific Investigations Report 2011�66
Documentation of Methods and Inventory of Irrigation Data Collected for the 2000 and 2005 U.S. Geological Survey Estimated Use of Water in the United States, Comparison of USGS-Compiled Irrigation Data to Other Sources, and Recommendations for Future Compilations
by Jade M. Dickens, Brandon T. Forbes, Dylan S. Cobean, and Saeid Tadayon
Scientific Investigations Report 2011�59 Scientific Investigations Report 2011�59
Groundwater Budgets for Detrital, Hualapai, and Sacramento Valleys, Mohave County, Arizona, 2007�08
by Bradley D. Garner and Margot Truini
Scientific Investigations Report 2011�71 Scientific Investigations Report 2011�71
Water Availability and Use Pilot: Methods Development for a Regional Assessment of Groundwater Availability, Southwest Alluvial Basins, Arizona
by Fred D Tillman, Jeffrey T. Cordova, Stanley A. Leake, Blakemore E. Thomas, and James B. Callegary
Techniques and Methods 6-A38 Techniques and Methods 6-A38
MODPATH-LGR桪ocumentation of a Computer Program for Particle Tracking in Shared-Node Locally Refined Grids by using MODFLOW-LGR
by Jesse E. Dickinson, R.T. Hanson, Steffen W. Mehl, and Mary C. Hill
Open-File Report 2011-1129 Open-File Report 2011-1129
Discharge and Sediment Concentration in the Bill Williams River and Turbidity in Lake Havasu During and Following High Releases from Alamo Dam, Arizona, in March and April 2010
by Stephen M. Wiele, Jamie P. Macy, Hugh L. Darling, Robert J. Hart, and Andrew B. Hautzinger
Scientific Investigations Report 2010�80 Scientific Investigations Report 2010�80
Regional Groundwater-Flow Model of the Redwall-Muav, Coconino, and Alluvial Basin Aquifer Systems of Northern and Central Arizona
by D.R. Pool, Kyle W. Blasch, James B. Callegary, Stanley A. Leake, and Leslie F. Graser
Scientific Investigations Report 2011�20 Scientific Investigations Report 2011�20
Effects of Natural and Human Factors on Groundwater Quality of Basin-Fill Aquifers in the Southwestern United States桟onceptual Models for Selected Contaminants
by Laura M. Bexfield, Susan A. Thiros, David W. Anning, Jena M. Huntington, and Tim S. McKinney
Scientific Investigations Report 2010�41 Scientific Investigations Report 2010�41
The Continuous Slope-Area Method for Computing Event Hydrographs
by Christopher F. Smith, Jeffrey T. Cordova, and Stephen M. Wiele
Fact Sheet 2010�50 Fact Sheet 2010�50
Breccia-Pipe Uranium Mining in Northern Arizona桬stimate of Resources and Assessment of Historical Effects
by Donald J. Bills, Kristin M. Brown, Andrea E. Alpine, James K. Otton, Bradley S. Van Gosen, Jo Ellen Hinck, and Fred D Tillman
Professional Paper 1781 Professional Paper 1781
Conceptual Understanding and Groundwater Quality of Selected Basin-Fill Aquifers in the Southwestern United States
Edited by Susan A. Thiros, Laura M. Bexfield, David W. Anning, and Jena M. Huntington

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 13-Dec-2011 10:46:57 EST

Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5071 Arizona Ground-Water Conditions Interactive Map