Hundreds Of New Wells May Dry Up One Of Arizona’s Most Precious Rivers

“A flash of red streaked through the trees: a vermilion flycatcher. The brightly colored bird chirped and trilled, adding to a chorus that rang from the towering trees.

Beneath the shady canopy of cottonwoods and willows, the San Pedro River flowed shin-deep, gurgling through smooth rocks.

This green artery, which snakes north from the Mexican border into southeastern Arizona, nourishes an astoundingly rich variety of life, including more than 350 species of birds, many of which stop here during migration. The forests and wetlands along the river teem with animals from frogs to bobcats to butterflies.

The ecosystem depends on the river, and the river itself depends on an unseen source. Much of its flow is fed by groundwater, emerging from the aquifer in springs and seeps, sustaining the river.”

Ian James and Rob O'Dell report for the Arizona Republic December 6, 2019, with photos and video by Mark Henle.

SEE ALSO:

“Megafarms And Deeper Wells Are Draining The Water Beneath Rural Arizona – Quietly, Irreversibly” (Arizona Republic)

“In Southeastern Arizona, Farms Drill A Half-Mile Deep While Families Pay The Price” (Arizona Republic)

“Wells Drying Up Around Willcox, Where An Effort To Change Rules Failed” (Arizona Republic)

“In Western Arizona, Corporate Megafarms Turn Water Into Profits, Leaving Small Towns In The Dust” (Arizona Republic)

“While Big Farms Export Hay, Western Arizona Residents Call For Groundwater Regulation” (Arizona Republic)

“These 7 Industrial Farm Operations Are Draining Arizona's Aquifers, And No One Knows Exactly How Much They're Taking” (Arizona Republic)

“Here Are Some Of The Biggest Corporate Farms Drawing Down Arizona's Groundwater” (Arizona Republic)

“Groundwater Pumping Threatens Source Of Arizona's San Pedro River” (Arizona Republic)

“Taking The Pulse Of The San Pedro River” (Arizona Republic)

“For Decades, Groundwater Beneath Arizona's Big Cities Has Been Spared. That's About To Change” (Arizona Republic)