the Middle San Pedro Valley
|VOLUME 2012 ISSUE 01
SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY OCT. 23RD
DIRECTOR AND MEMBERS TRAINING FOR ISOTOPE FIELD WORK IN THE ST.
DAVID CIENEGA WITHIN NEXT TWO WEEKS!
- LEGISLATION - PROJECTS
Monthly at General Meetings - 4th Tuesday - Benson City
Hall 120 W 6th St.
GENERAL MEETING IN DECEMBER - WINTER BREAK
LIBRARY ONLY A CLICK AWAY
Reports on the Middle San Pedro and Adjacent Watersheds
Projects on the Middle San Pedro
and Program Links
CWA IS A 501 (C)
3! Your donations and membership are now tax deductible.
here for your $15 membership form to help support our outreach
here to visit our CWA website.
here to contact us.
SPECIFIC WELL INFOMATION
into ADWR database has been re-designed for easier access
to general well information.
here to enter well data base:
BOTTOM LINE (Sept):
rainfall has brought some improement to short-term drought
conditions across Arizona, but the entire Southwest continues
to experience moderate or more servere drought, mostly due
to longer-term deficits in precipitation. Low water supplies
remain widespread. The inflow of into Lake Powell was the
third lowest on record for the April and July period, and
the combined storage in Lakes Mead and Powell is about 3
million acre-feet lower than one year ago. Improvements
in these longer-term drought impacts is hard to forecast
at this time.
Temperature– An active monsoon
in the last 30 days helped lower temperatures in many areas
Precipitation– The near constant
presence of high humiity and copius rain in Ariz. resulted
in above-average preiitation in most of the state. An El
Nino event, which is forecast to develop in coming months
but is expected to be wek and short lived, can bring above-average
rain and snow to the southern tier of the state.
here for the Southwest Drought/Climate Outlook – monthly
7.08 inches of rain observed to date in Benson. Normal approximately
here and scroll to the bottom of the chart to review Precipitation
Records - Some communities out of alphabetical order.
here to see maps of Benson Subwatershed for Vegetation Cover,
Soil-types, Population Centers, etc.
do not respond to this email.
here to contact CWA.
are on the Web!
Kartchner State Parks
Apache Nitrogen Products
Cochise County Government
Cochise County Cooperative Extensions
The Nature Conservancy
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OF THE ST. DAVID CIENEGA
Director Mary McCool and Carmen Miller are
attending training in Safford October 29th and 30th to learn more
about the Isotope Testing that will be conducted at the St. David
Cienega within the next several weeks.
Spring Stewardship Institute (Museum of
Northern Arizona), will provide the two day training. This training
normally has a registration fee of $250 per person.
Training is being offerred through a grant
opportunity to Safford BLM and Eastern Arizona College Honors Biology
students who will be assisting with the spring inventory project.
On Nov. 3rd, testing at the St. David Cienega
will be conducted by BLM and graduate students from the Chicago
from moisture removed from the stems of vegetation is expected to
provide information regarding the source of water to the Cienega.
Information collected by the November investigation
will be shared with the National Riparian Service Team before their
December visit to the Cienega at which time NRST will complete a
Proper Functionig Assessment.
The St. David Cienega was added to the scope
of the work after nine members of the Community Watershed Alliance
met with BLM repeatedly to discuss the need for developing a common
vision and shared management strategy for possible restoration.
NATIONAL RIPARIAN SERVICE TEAM RETURNING TO REPORT FINDINGS ON THE
In the fall
of 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requested assistance
from the National Riparian Service Team (NRST) relative to issues
concerning the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA).
In April of this year, the NRST and interested
parties walked the 40 miles of river within the SPRNCA (see adjacent
map) to assess the Proper Function Condition on a reach-by-reach
The riparian site potential and existing
conditions will have been discussed and documented, and should provide
insights for how best to monitor/manage conditions in the future.
CWA will receive copies of the report mid-November
community presentation in Sierra Vista is scheduled for December
5th, 5:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. at the City of Sierra Vista Police Department
at 911 N. Coronado Drive.
2012 WET-DRY MAPS NOW POSTED
maps of nearly 175 miles of the San Pedro River from below the Mexican
border to the town of Winkelman are now posted. The wet/dry mapping
is used to historically track the river’s health by monitoring
the persistence of surface water during the driest time of each
has coordinated the efforts within the Middle San Pedro for six
years. After a yearly training refresher, the 8 teams of equestrians,
hikers and ATVers are ready to be on the river from approximately
5:30 A.M. to approximately 11:00 A.M.- traveling 9 stretches of
the river varying from 3 to 8 miles across lands to which property
owners provide permission. Data collection routinely is scheduled
for the third Saturday in June.
here for maps.
CWA representatives attended the October
15th presentation by Cochise County Extension Agent Mark Apel. Mark
presented the maps and results of a county-wide analysis of the
suitability for utility-scale solar installations recently conducted
by the U of A and Cochise County Cooperative.
Primary focus was Benson's solar potential
from a land use perspective. Local maps were provided illustrating
suitability for small scale projects of 5 Megawatts or less as well
as larger scale suitability for greater than 5 Megawatts.
Modeling effort removed areas under federal
and state management as well as land within 600' of washes, land
with highly eroidable soils, and slopes greater than 2%. Modeling
analyized every 1100 square feet of remaining space (approximately
0.02 acres). Consideration was given to physical factors such as
directional face of slopes and economic factors such as proximity
and capacity of nearby transmission lines, proximity to substations,
roads, railroads, etc.
A utililty scale 5 MW PV facility requires
10 acres of land, 79,000 panels (2' x 4 1/2') on 8,000 posts. Construction
takes approximately 2 to 3 months, providing 60-75 temporary jobs.
Construction costs are close to $23 million dollars. This size project
will provide power to 3,000 - 4,000 homes for 6 to 7 hours a day.
Mark provided interested parties with KMZ
data files that can be used in conjunction with google maps so that
specific properties can be identified as having high, moderate,
or low potential. CWA will have lap top with files for review at
If high capacity transmission lines are
routed through area, modeling results will change dramatically.
here for Meeting Handouts
here for County-wide Maps
DOMESTIC WELL STUDY SUPPORTS WATER USE NUMBER
A new study
in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed by Western Resource Advocates and
Plateau Resources, LLC. was conducted to determine the indoor and
outdoor conservation potential regarding domestic wells. Richard
Burtell, formerely with ADWR, reviewed study detail with those attending
a recent meeting of the San Pedro Partnership.
indicate that water use by domestic wells can be reduced through
targeted conservations programs. Pre-1997 construction is an important
notes of importance:
1) All indoor
use discharged to septic systems does not recharge the aquifer
due to loss and evapotranspiration. The amount recharged is dependent
on depth of leach field - likely < 1/3 of indoor use, and
2) The study
supports well demand per household of 2.4 people as being closer
to 312 gallons per day versus the 800 gallons per day as previously
used by Planning and Zoning to justify greater density housing
permits in areas originally RU 4.
for indepth study presentation.
IS HAPPENING WITH ADWR WATER STUDY FOR BENSON SUBWATERSHED?
CWA has been
busy contacting many associated with "Water" to determine
what conversations are happening regarding the ADWR/USGS Hydrogeologic
Investigation that was started in October of 2005. The seven initial
objectives were to provide invaluable information such as the shape,
size and parameters of the groundwater system and a predictive numerical
model of the groundwater system that could be used by planners and
water managers. See
crunches in 2010, USGS continued to conduct groundwater monitoring,
completing ET estimates, and evaluating underflow and storage estimates.
By the end of 2012, USGS lead Jesse Dickinson says a report on the
water budget and groundwater flow system should be available to
USGS presented to ADWR staff a review of Rural Watershed Initiative
Projects that included the Benson study. ADWR requested USGS prepare
a proposal to complete the numerical groundwater model. In August,
USGS presented the proposal to ADWR for a three-year project totaling
$800,000. Since ADWR continues to have limited funding, this proposal
was not approved.
with James Leenouts, USGS, and former ADWR Tom Whitmer, indicated
an alternative proposal might be forthcoming that more closely reflected
the remainder of the original plan for approximately $250,000 and
as more money became available greater sensitivity analysis could
CWA is awaiting
a summary page of the scope of work for both proposals and a possible
timeframe for presentation of the alternative proposal to ADWR.
YEAR FOR CWA!
flown this year as CWA participated and provided support for additional
agencies who work within the Benson Subwatershed.
CITY OF BENSON
DEVELOPMENT PLAN: In January,
we were able to provide the City of Benson important water budget
information as they revised the Benson Development Plan. The old
plan stated that the City had "...over 25,000 acre-feet of
water per year for 100 years; ... adequate subsurface water for
any proposed developments".
information with ADWR specialists, we requested the language be
changed to "The City of Benson has an adequate water supply
for 13, 474 acre feet for 100 years. This is within the statutory
limit of not drawing the groundwater table 1,200 feet below land
surface." We also provided the City with a copy of ADWR's
Detailed Water Budget showing the overall Total Inflow –
17,790 AF, Total Outflow – 19,110 AF, and Change in Storage
– 1,320 AF.
here for Riparian Potential and Limiting Factors Report. Reaches
10-14 are located in our watershed.
RIPARIAN SERVICE TEAM: Feb.,
March, and April, CWA continued to support efforts of the National
Riparian Service Team based upon relationship from co-hosting an
NRST workshop on Wetland Health with a site visit to the St. David
Members attended numerous
workshops in the classroom and field to learn more about the Proper
Functioning Condition evaluation process.
ENERGY AND WATER USE: CWA prepared packets for Benson P &
Z Commissioners along with a review at the March Public Hearing.
Information provided to P & Z included water use of server farms,
peaker plants, etc. and sample ordinances for management of impacts
here for CWA letter to Planning and Zoning
IN QUARTERLY ECOLI STUDY DISCUSSIONS: In addition
to the Watershed Improvement Council (WIC) work sessions, CWA Representatives
attended the May 18th Riparian Buffer Assessment Workshop with Dr.
Phil Guertin. Both classroom lecture and field work illustrated
how observations are used to assess the current functionality of
the watershed in its ability to filter pollutants from runoff.
During later discussions, CWA presented
Powerpoint to WIC regarding their use of Wet-Dry Information. CWA
explained its committment to private property owners --specific
raw data collected on private property is not available to other
agencies or individuals. The map representation is, however, public
information. CWA highlighted the limitations of repurposing any
Wet-Dry information without fully understanding the protocol used
for collecting data.
2010 ADEQ grant for $265,551 was awarded
to Coronado Resource Conservation & Development, Inc. to form
a watershed improvement council and rectify E.coli problems in San
Pedro River near St. David.
The grant has been extended to June 2013.
Originally, a water improvement plan was to be written by the end
of September of this year based upon data collected. During low
flow, normal conditions, there are no exceedances. In winter, there
are no exceedances unless big storm event. Exceedance values are
during storm events with data collection indicating that the water
coming into the study area is already at exceedance values.
Focus during extension period is expected
to include developing an educational Best Management Practice that
will include students, and ranching community around the St. David
area. Suggestion was also made to consider the value of woody brush
management and promotion of native grasses to improve quality of
MAY 22ND NOXIOUS AND INVASIVE SPECIES WORKSHOP – CLASSROOM
AND IN THE FIELD: Focus
on accurate identification, appropriate treatment without spreading,
and monitoring for new infestations. Instructor Kim McReynolds –
- any species of plant which is, or like to be, detrimental or destructive
and difficult to control or eradicate.
- are non-indigenous plants that take over and destroy native species.
here for identifying pictures and map of known sites.
Focus was on
the Mescal-J6 area where there are recorded sites of Invasive Malta
Starthistle. The one reported site of Onion Weed is no longer evident.
No sites are recorded in the Benson area.
VEGETATION MONITORING: In June, CWA not only
collected Wet-Dry data but also provided field support for Dr. Gabriel
Katz doing ASU Riparian Vegetation Monitoring since 2006.
Three sites with over nine transects are
monitored every one to two years.
collected is used in variety of ways.
SUNZIA PRESENTATION: Cascabel
Working Group presented collection of significant impacts related
to the SunZia Powerline proposal.
Many impacts are directly related to the
magnitude of proposed road infrastructure and grading:: 45 miles
of twin towers with offsets of 400’, requiring spur roads
between towers. In addition,each of the estimated 326 - 16 story
towers in the Middle San Pedro River Valley would likely require
clearing of almost an acre of land.
The Middle SPRV through which the SunZia
transmission routes are proposed is the last relatively intact and
largely unfragmented extended landscape in the desert Southwest
through which runs a major free-flowing river.
Likewise, it is an intact cultural landscape
in an area of one of the longest and most complex continuous archaeological
records in North America (spanning 12,000 years).
An impressive suite of federal, state and
county agencies, NGOs and private partners have attested to this
importance by the investment of many millions in a large amalgam
of protected conservation sites.
here for CWG presentation.
prepresentatives who had previously worked with Entrix as they developed
their ecosystem services evaluation tool attended USPP Meeting where
BLM-USGS presented their Ecosystem Services Evaluation Pilot. Ecosystem
services are "Components of nature, directly enjoyed, consumed,
or used to yield human well-being”.
Information continued to
support CWA's experience/research with Entrix - tools require major
time commitment, are in the developmental stage, and must be evaluated
carefully before selection and implementation. Presentation suggests
time needed to do feasibility study and associated phases will not
make this type tool a useful option for BLM as they revise their
HEARING: Aug. 15 –
Representatives attended EPA Hearing at Cochise College.
"EPA overrides Az. Plan with federal
plan to reduce oxides of nitrogen which will impose hundreds of
millions of dollars on utilities---and, by extension, their customers".…multiple
ADEQ…no discernible identifiable difference
in visibility at the Grand Canyon and other natural parks between
the less-expensive plan supported by ADEQ and what EPA wants.
here for News-Sun Coverage