"Our water, air and soils are all products of nature. Also, we must end the thinking that Arizonans have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment."
- Pat Graham, Arizona State Director
The challenges we face today are like no other time, in scale or complexity. Solving them requires not only more energy and resources; it requires a new kind of conservation.
In Arizona, growth projections show that an additional 2.4 million acres of land could be converted to development over the next 40 years. The combination of climate change and growth are putting increased pressure on our water supplies. We are now looking at the Colorado, Verde and San Pedro rivers as whole systems that need to support both people and wildlife, and engaging people in monitoring and taking action all along the rivers.
Water – A Rare Resource in the Southwest
From above, they are a wet glint of light. On the ground they are a river of life. Through thirsty land and thirsty seasons, the waters of the San Pedro and Verde rivers flow slowly, patiently, over and under the ground nearly 140 miles into central Arizona.
The Nature Conservancy has long recognized the two rivers' enormous ecological value and has been working for years with land owners and other partners to preserve a sustainable flow for the rivers while respecting the water needs of the local communities.
San Pedro River
The San Pedro River’s cottonwood-shaded corridor provides critical stopover habitat for millions of migrating birds each year. It is one of only two major rivers that flow north out of Mexico into the United States and one of the last free flowing rivers in the Southwest. Go Deeper.
Arizona’s only federally designated Wild and Scenic River, the Verde River springs from the ground in the rural community of Paulden, southwest of Flagstaff. From its emergence at Sullivan Lake, it meanders southeastward 195 miles through private, federal, state and tribal land before reaching its confluence with the Salt River near Phoenix. Go Deeper.