Water RAPIDS | wrrc.arizona.edu






Our goal is to help communities balance a secure water future for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors with the water demands of the natural environment. Planning for people and natural resources together can lead to a more sustainable future by both strengthening local and regional economies, and supporting the natural resources that contribute to a high quality of life in the southwestern United States.

Recent Publications Current and Upcoming Events

Watershed Goal-Setting Workshop Summary is available for download. At the February 18th workshop held in the Upper Gila Watershed, a diverse group of stakeholders gathered together to discuss the challenges in the watershed so as to begin the process of creating watershed-wide goals and actions to achieve these goals. This summary provides initial goals drafted at the workshop and the "fact sheets" for each watershed planning theme we discussed.  

Roadmap for Considering Water for Arizona's Natural Areas is available for download.  The Roadmap contains information on the current scientific understanding of water for natural areas and existing legal considerations for providing water to natural areas, examples of where natural areas are already included in water management decisions, and an overview of available paths forward for including natural areas alongside human uses.

Town of Clarkdale Water Resources Management Program Recommendations Report is available for download. This report summarizes the six principal recommendations for developing the Town's water management program. In addition to the six recommendations, multiple water management options are reviewed, which may be of interest to others concerned about sustainable municipal water management.

NEW!  C2E has selected two new projects to fund in 2015. Congrats to the Feldman's Neighborhood and Sky Islands High School, the newest C2E Grantees!  All 7 of the projects submitted were excellent and illustrated a real need for urban waterway enhancement funding in Tucson.  Thanks to everyone that contributes to C2E and makes this possible!

September 9, 2015:  The Upper Gila Watershed Supply and Demand Working Group will meet on Wednesday, September 9th (2-4 pm) at the Graham County General Services Building, 921 Thatcher Blvd., Safford, AZ 85546

October 2, 2015: Dr. Kelly Mott Lacroix will teach a Master Watershed Steward class in Payson, AZ focused on topics in Ecohydrology.  See here to learn more about Master Watershed Stewards.  Contact ckjones@cals.arizona.edu to sign up!

October 14, 2015: Raising Water Awareness in the Globe-Miami Communities will kick-off with the first of three sessions this fall in Globe, AZ.  These Fall sessions aim to begin the conversation with local residents about what they think are the most critical water issues in their communities. Click here to learn more about the project.

October 15-16, 2015: The 28th Annual Arizona Riparian Council Meeting will be held in Flagstaff at the 1899 Ballroom, High Country Conference Center.  The theme this year will be Tools and Techniques for Assessing and Restoring Riparian Habitat.  Please send your abstracts to Kelly Mott Lacroix.

To request more information please contact Kelly Mott Lacroix.

The Water RAPIDS team can provide a range of services, including:

  • Watershed management and planning that integrates natural resources, water resources, and community development
  • Stakeholder engagement process design and facilitation services for communities seeking feedback on water resources issues or in need of assistance to address water-related conflicts
  • Geographic information system (GIS) analysis of water and natural resource issues
  • Innovative approaches and tools for increasing household water conservation, while building awareness of the relationship between natural resources and water use

Current Water RAPIDS projects include:

Conserve to Enhance Logo

Conserve2Enhance (C2E): An innovative new approach to conserving water and restoring the environment in our communities.

  • Conserve2Enhance (C2E) has launched our new online Dashboard!  Visit us at www.conserve2enhance.org and make your water savings count!

Cienega Creek above Mattie   

Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) Environmental Flows DatabaseThe goal of this project is to develop a tool that will enable more resilient and effective management of riparian and aquatic systems throughout the deserts of the United States and Mexico. This project is being done in partnership with Northern Arizona University (NAU).

Gila River near Threeway (Clifton)        

Watershed Planning in the Upper Gila Watershed: The Upper Gila River is one of the last stretches of free-flowing river in the American West. Through stakeholder engagement, watershed assessment and scenario planning, the WRRC is working to assist local water planning efforts to ensure adequate supply for all water using sectors.



Raising Water Awareness in the Globe-Miami Community: The Globe-Miami area faces complex challenges in balancing their water supply and infrastructure with current and future demands. To meet these challenges WRRC and the Gila County Cooperative Extension office are collaborating on educational opportunities for residents, including an Arizona Water 101 workshop series and a Master Watershed Steward Educational Program Series.

Recent Water RAPIDS projects include:

Cienega Creek above Mattie   

Connecting the Environment to Arizona Water Planning (EnWaP): Building on the results of the Environmental Water Needs Assessment, the WRRC worked with communities throughout Arizona to incorporate environmental water needs into water management and planning.  Project products included:

  • Roadmap for Considering Water for Arizona's Natural Areas: The Roadmap contains information on the current scientific understanding of water for natural areas and existing legal considerations for providing water to natural areas, examples of where natural areas are already included in water management decisions, and an overview of available paths forward for including natural areas alongside human uses.
  • EnWaP Database: This database is a compilation of 121 published studies conducted throughout Arizona on the environmental flow needs and reponses of 100+ aquatic and riparian species.  The database is current through July 2014.

Seal of Clarkdale


Sustainable Clarkdale: The town of Clarkdale, Arizona is working to become a sustainable community.  The Water RAPIDS team assisted the town to develop a model water resource management program that will reduce per capita water consumption to sustainable levels in order to protect the Verde River.  The end goal of this project was to balance water consumption and supply by exploring benefits and consequences of management options, the policies and outreach required to initiate a public engagement process, and an information campaign to build support from citizens for the Sustainable Clarkdale initiative.

In 2014 the WRRC lead a Water Experts Meeting in February and a Small Town Water Management Forum in June.  In advance of the Water Experts Meeting a Water Primer for the Town of Clarkdale was prepared to introduce the invited experts to the geography and hydrologic conditions of Clarkdale, as well as the current water management challenges and potential solutions identified by the Town.