Verde Water Users examine Verde River subflow
Group meets this evening in Camp Verde
CAMP VERDE - Of all the decisions made to date in the 35-year-old statewide water rights adjudication case, one of the most significant was the court's determination of what constituted subflow.
They defined the subflow as the water contained within the "saturated floodplain Holocene alluvium," the geologic formation consisting of sand, gravel and loose rock deposited in the river's floodplain over the last 10,000 years.
The definition is significant because the subflow of a stream is treated that same as water flowing above ground, as far as state law is concerned.
Which means, in order to legally use subflow, you must have a surface water right. In the Verde valley there are over 7,000 residential wells, the vast majority of which are pumping in or in close proximity to what is assumed to be the subflow zone of the Verde River and its tributaries.
This last year the Arizona Geological Survey produced a report along with a set of maps delineating with some degree of certainty where the "saturated floodplain Holocene alluvium" deposits are located along the Verde River and its tributaries.
The Arizona Department of Water Resources and the court, in making decision related to the adjudication, will use that report and the related maps.
Throughout the 35 years the adjudication has ground through the courts, one organization has looked after the cumulative water rights in the Verde valley, with its own eye towards protecting those rights -- the Verde Valley Water Users Association.
This Wednesday evening, at the VVWUA's annual meeting, the association board will feature a presentation by Philip Pearthree, one of the geologists who prepared the recently released report and maps.
Pearthree will review how the maps were made, discuss the criteria used to distinguish river deposits from other deposits and summarize the indicators used to determine the age of the deposits.
Pearthree will also show some examples various river deposits and discuss some of the uncertainties involved in mapping the river boundaries, before discussing the implications of the study.
If you own a well in the Verde Valley you will find the information of interest. The public is invited to attend and become a member of the organization.
The meeting takes place at The Camp Verde School District's Multi-Use Complex, 280 Camp Lincoln Road, at 7 p.m. For additional information contact Jamie Reddell (928) 634-5889 ext. 1025.
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