Letter: Lawmakers must look at groundwater/surface water connection
ADWRs acknowledgement that Del Rio Springs will probably go dry by 2025 is indeed a tragedy, but it is certainly no surprise to anyone who has studied the long term and not so long term water use in the Verde River Basin.
Ed Wolfe, a long-time student of water in the area, believes that it is probably hopeless for Del Rio Springs. Gary Beverly, another student of water in the Verde River Basin says that the flow from the Springs is 10 percent of its pre-settlement flow. The article also pointed out that Arizona has lost 90 percent of the wetlands it once had. Wetlands are critical to the survival of many species that directly depend on them for survival, as well as species that depend on them for part of their lifecycle.
Arizona water law that does not recognize the link between groundwater and surface water is in part responsible for this. The population increase and subsequent increase in private wells also contribute to this problem. Add to that the extended drought that Arizona is currently in and potential effects of climate change you have a serious problem.
How many more surface water sites like the Verde River and other wetlands have to dry up before Arizona's lawmakers reexamine the groundwater/surface water relationship? How many more surface water sites will we lose before we manage population growth and act as if we realize that water is a critical, finite and scarce resource in Arizona?