Arizona Water Science Center

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Verde River below Tangle Creek, above Horseshoe Dam

Photo by Bert Duet

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USGS Southern Arizona Noon Seminar Series


Arizona Weather Radar



USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State. Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

Water Resources of Arizona

Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Web page for the water resources of Arizona; this is your direct link to all kinds of water-resource information. Here you'll find information on Arizona's rivers and streams. You'll also find information about groundwater, water quality, and many other topics.

  • USGS Southern Arizona Noon Seminar Series
    Time: 12:00pm to 1:00pm (unless noted otherwise)
    Location: Room 253, Dennis Deconcini Environment and Natural Resources Building, University of Arizona
    Date Speaker Seminar Title
    January 26, 2017 James Callegary
    USGS Arizona Water Science Center
    Post-Wildfire Potential for Carbon and Nitrogen Retention and Sequestration in the Southwestern United States in Restored Ephemeral and Intermittent Stream Channels (abstract)
    February 9
    Evan Canfield
    Urban Runoff and Watershed Management
  • Map of gage locations and fire perimeter near Cedar Creek, Arizona
    Click to view larger map image

    Flood Warning Sites for the Community of Cedar Creek, Arizona

    The Arizona Water Science Center installed a network of rain gages and stream gages in response to the Cedar Fire to provide flood warning for the community of Cedar Creek, Arizona.

    Links to Cedar Fire Flood warning stream and precipitation stations

  • Link to Grand Canyon High Flow Monitoring video

    Grand Canyon High Flow Monitoring

    Video: The USGS monitors sediment loads during Grand Canyon's beach-building high flow releases.

  • Click to view larger image of map showing estimated long-term cumulative storage depletion fraction in 31 areas and aquifers within the United States.
    Estimated long-term cumulative storage depletion fraction in 31 areas and aquifers within the United States.

    Depletion and Capture: Revisiting The Source of Water Derived from Wells

    Lenny Konikow of the USGS National Research Program and Stan Leake of the Arizona Water Science Center have a new article entitled "Depletion and Capture: Revisiting The Source of Water Derived from Wells," published in a current issue of the journal Groundwater. Sources of water to pumped wells include storage depletion and capture of water entering or leaving aquifers. The authors discuss how depletion and capture are linked through time and how limited available capture can affect the sources of water to pumped wells. In the figure shown here, the authors indicate estimated ratios of storage depletion to volume of groundwater pumped for 31 areas and aquifers in the United States. The article can be accessed at

  • Click to view larger image....

    Maps of the damping factor at the
    water table in Central Valley, California, computed by the screening tool.

    Click to view larger image....

    New tool for improving simulation of recharge in groundwater models

    Recharge of aquifers by the infiltration of surface water varies over time, but at widely different rates. In some cases, groundwater models can treat recharge as a steady process (not varying over time), which makes the model simpler and more efficient to run. In other cases, variation in recharge over time is an important process, and should be included in a groundwater model to improve its accuracy. A new screening tool developed at the Arizona Water Science Center can simplify groundwater models by delineating areas where recharge can be treated as steady state. The screening tool determines a damping depth that is based on an analytical solution for the damping of sinusoidal infiltration variations in homogeneous soils in the vadose zone. Groundwater recharge may be considered steady where the damping depth is above the depth of the water table. A recent paper in Vadose Zone Journal presents nomograms for predicting the damping depth for clay and sandy soils. The screening tool was applied to Central Valley, California and found areas where monthly, seasonal, or annual variations in infiltration may be damped to steady rates. A MATLAB script, DAMP, is available for computing the damping factor for any soil and any sinusoidal flux variation. A discussion of the paper and its implications for groundwater modeling is a featured story by the Soil Science Society of America.

  • G.G. Sykes

    USGS Streamgaging in the 1920s

    While the US Geological Survey (USGS) streamgage located at the Colorado River in Grand Canyon was not one of the first USGS streamgages established in Arizona, it was certainly one of the most remote and difficult-to-access gages. Located within the ancient Vishnu Schist in the inner gorge of Grand Canyon, the first permanent gage was constructed in 1922. One of the first gaging station operators at the site was Glenton Godfrey Sykes.

    Read stories about streamgaging on the Colorado River in the 1920s as Glenton Sykes wrote them in his unpublished autobiography, Scraps From the Past.

Of Interest....

Current streamflow conditions in Arizona; click to go to a live map.

Real-Time Streamflow Data Portal
Real-Time Streamflow Data Portal
Access real-time streamflow data using an interactive map!

USGS WaterNow - Have current conditions for water data sent directly to your mobile phone or email.

Streamer - Explore America's larger streams as you trace upstream to their source or downstream to where they empty.

Map legend.
Explanation of percentile classes

Hydrologic Conditions

Arizona Groundwater Conditions Interactive Map

Arizona Groundwater Conditions Interactive Map

What is the current status of ground-water conditions in Arizona? How do conditions compare now versus before widespread development of groundwater? How far have water levels fallen, both in the past and recently? Have any wells shown rises in water levels, either in the past or recently? What are the recent trends in groundwater levels? Visit the Arizona Groundwater Conditions Interactive Map page to find out.

Drought Conditions for Selected Basins

The USGS, in cooperation with the Governor's Drought Task Force, has developed a series of maps showing drought intensity for selected drainage basins in Arizona. To view historical maps, learn how the maps are developed, and download images, visit our drought page.

Drought conditions for
September 2016

Icon for map of drought conditions for September 2016
Click to view larger image

Recent Publications

Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5115 Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5115
Simulation of groundwater withdrawal scenarios for the Redwall-Muav and Coconino Aquifer Systems of northern and central Arizona
by D.R. Pool
Open-File Report 2016–1155 Open-File Report 2016–1155
Gravity change from 2014 to 2015, Sierra Vista Subwatershed, Upper San Pedro Basin, Arizona
by Jeffrey R. Kennedy
Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5114 Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5114
Hydrological conditions and evaluation of sustainable groundwater use in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed, Upper San Pedro Basin, southeastern Arizona
by Bruce Gungle, James B. Callegary, Nicholas V. Paretti, Jeffrey R. Kennedy, Christopher J. Eastoe, Dale S. Turner, Jesse E. Dickinson, Lainie R. Levick, and Zachary P. Sugg
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Investigation of Total and Hexavalent Chromium in Filtered and Unfiltered Groundwater Samples at the Tucson International Airport Superfund Site
by Fred Tillman, R. Blaine McCleskey, and Edythi Hermosillo
Geophysical Research Letters Geophysical Research Letters
Changes in groundwater recharge under projected climate in the upper Colorado River basin
by Fred Tillman, Subhrendu Gangopadhyay, and Tom Pruitt
Open-File Report 2016–1088 Open-File Report 2016–1088
Hydrologic analyses in support of the Navajo Generating Station–Kayenta Mine Complex environmental impact statement
by Stanley A. Leake, Jamie P. Macy, and Margot Truini
Open-File Report 2016-1053 Open-File Report 2016-1053
Analysis of stable isotope ratios (δ18O and δ2H) in precipitation of the Verde River watershed, Arizona 2013 through 2014
by Kimberly R. Beisner, Nicholas V. Paretti, and Rachel S. Tucci
Journal Of The American Water Resources Association Journal Of The American Water Resources Association
Supporting Diverse Data Providers in the Open Water Data Initiative: Communicating Water Data Quality and Fitness of Use
by Sara Larsen, Stuart Hamilton, Jessica Lucido, Bradley Garner, and Dwane Young,
Journal of Arid Environments Journal of Arid Environments
A comparison of estimates of basin-scale soil-moisture evapotranspiration and estimates of riparian groundwater evapotranspiration with implications for water budgets in the Verde Valley, Central Arizona, USA
by F.D. Tillmann, S.M. Wiele, and D.R. Pool
Geophysical Journal International Geophysical Journal International
Accounting for time- and space-varying changes in the gravity field to improve the network adjustment of relative-gravity data
by Jeffrey R. Kennedy and Ty P.A. Ferré

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Page Last Modified: Sunday, 15-Jan-2017 13:24:50 EST