December 15, 2017

Before you begin your next Arizona adventure check out WatershedConnection.com to see hydrology and weather data about your favorite outdoor places. Their new website provides near real-time data for stream flows, lake levels, boat ramp elevations, and other data to help you plan your next trip.

“Anglers, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts have told us that the data is useful and the new site allows us to easily provide the information and share a message about SRP’s watershed protection efforts,” says Lucas Shaw, a Water Rights analyst at SRP who helped develop the new site.

WatershedConnection.com, launched in October to kick off the 2017-2018 water year, provides information about current and past conditions on the Salt River and Verde River watersheds as well as an explanation of SRP’s role in protecting these rivers in perpetuity for the benefit of water users in greater Phoenix and in watershed communities such as Payson, Prescott and the Verde Valley.

Lower Salt River

The new website replaces the 10-year-old WatershedMonitor.com site with interactive tools such as graphs and maps that allow users to easily check the pulse of these vital waterways.

Graph of flow data for the Verde River near Paulden Arizona

“At SRP, we strive to protect the water rights of our shareholders while also protecting the Salt and Verde River watersheds in a way that benefits all of those who depend on these rivers,” said Greg Kornrumph, Water Rights manager. “This includes conducting research, working on watershed restoration efforts, and collaborating with water users and communities across the state. Watershed Connection is an extension of those efforts.”

Information on stream flows and rainfall events across the Salt and Verde watersheds was first offered in 2007 when Salt River Project launched WatershedMonitor.com. The previous website offered data collected by SRP and the United States Geological Survey as part of SRP’s commitment to assisting in the education of the watershed community regarding water-resource issues.

In addition to providing hydrologic and meteorological conditions, Kornrumph said the new WatershedConnection.com website will highlight projects where SRP is collaborating with other groups to protect these watersheds. Some examples of these collaborations include:

  • Agreements protect Verde Valley water rights: How SRP is working with landowners to recognize early water uses from Verde Valley ditches with voluntary agreements that give all water users greater water certainty.
  • Flowtography – innovation in water measurement: How SRP is partnering with watershed communities to implement its new Flowtography technology to capture pictures and data for important watershed studies.
  • Big Chino Aquifer monitoring program: SRP, the city of Prescott and the town of Prescott Valley have embarked on a multiyear plan to better understand the hydrology of the Big Chino Aquifer. Also, how this monitoring program is helping to protect the headwaters of the Verde River.
  • A renewable water supply for Northern Gila County: How C.C. Cragin Reservoir, a Mogollon Rim lake built in 1965, will become a new water supply for the town of Payson with the help of SRP. Also, how restoring the forests will further protect this jewel in the pines – formerly named Blue Ridge Reservoir.
  • Conservation initiatives: SRP works throughout metropolitan Phoenix and with its partners across Arizona to promote both large-scale conservation efforts and those that individuals can undertake at their home or office. Teacher training, classroom materials, information about the conservation expo and additional tools are provided.

SRP, as the largest raw water supplier in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, is continually seeking ways to collaborate with stakeholders to improve the future of our water supplies.

From time to time, Water – Use It Wisely features guest bloggers who write about topics related to water and water conservation. The author of this blog, Jeff Lane, is a Media Relations Representative with Salt River Project.