Fossil Creek
Fossil Creek Fossil Creek, Arizona. © Nick Berezenko/APS

Stories in Arizona

Securing Water For Our Future

Protecting Arizona’s most important waterways requires a new kind of conservation.

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.

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

Arizona’s water future depends on innovative water management of all its water sources to guarantee water for the future. Science, collaboration and Conservancy leadership are leading to innovative water management on Arizona rivers.

Colorado River

The Colorado River, which carved the iconic Grand Canyon, is one of the hardest working rivers on the continent. Flowing through northern and western Arizona, the river is a critical water source for the state. The cities of Phoenix and Tucson rely on Colorado River water conveyed through Central Arizona Project canals. The river also irrigates cropland and is a hub for water recreation, camping and other outdoor pursuits that sustain a multi-billion dollar tourism economy.  Go Deeper.

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.

Verde River

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.

Water's Journey Beginning as snowmelt in high country forests, water makes an incredible journey before flowing into the Verde River.