Resource management

SRP’s Legacy of Water Resource Management in Arizona

Verde Valley News – What is the Salt River Project (SRP) and what role does it play in ensuring a water secure future for Northern Arizona? Lucas Shaw, SRP’s Director of Water Rights, and Carter Benton, Water Programs Analyst, will present a history of SRP, the challenges of its water sources, including the Verde River, what SRP is doing to protect critical watershed communities, and updates on the Gila Adjudication and Verde Valley River Rights Program in a Zoom webinar hosted by the Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) on Saturday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. A question and answer period will follow the presentation if time permits. The Zoom registration link is displayed in the “Next event” section at www.cwagaz.org .

Citizens' Water Advocacy GroupFounded in 1903 to establish reliable access to water and power generation for farming communities, SRP has undergone many changes over the past century, both through the construction of dams and the application of legislative actions. Shaw and Benton will talk about the history of SRP, how the transformation from primarily agricultural to urban water use has affected water management, challenges emerging from current climatic and development conditions , and the measures taken by SRP to address them.

Shaw and Benton will explain SRP’s relatively new Verde Valley River Rights Program, which was implemented in 2020 with the purchase of two properties in the Camp Verde area that have historic water rights. Ownership of these lands will allow SRP to transfer water rights to landowners in the Verde Valley who need them. Shaw and Benton will discuss the reasoning behind the purchases and how the program can help preserve the long-term sustainability of the Verde River.

The presentation will also include an update on Gila Arbitration, a procedure created 48 years ago to determine rights to all surface waters in the Gila system, which includes the Verde River, and which may affect well water users in the Verde Basin. In addition, Shaw and Benton will discuss the state of the Big Chino Aquifer and the modeling and monitoring programs used to assess changes in the aquifer and plan for the future.

Lucas Shaw worked at SRP for 12 years where he focuses on developing cost-effective solutions to water rights issues, particularly in the Verde River watershed. He led SRP’s Water Certainty initiative, working with surface water users in the Verde Valley to enter into agreements recognizing historic water uses on private properties and acquiring properties with water rights. water for local water rights solutions.

Carter Benton joined SRP in August 2022 where he develops and maintains relationships with key partners in the Verde Valley and assists in the implementation of solutions to water issues in preparation for the general flow adjudication. Prior to joining SRP, Benton worked in agricultural real estate for 20 years, appraising ranch/conservation properties in Arizona and New Mexico.

CWAG is a local citizens group advocating for a water secure future for Prescott and Central Yavapai County and for the protection of the Upper Verde River. For more information, visit www.cwagaz.orgor email [email protected]