Santa Cruz River Featured Video
Reclaiming an Oasis in the Desert
Tony Paniagua, Arizona Public Media
Living River - Upper Santa Cruz River
The Santa Cruz River as it flows downstream of the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant is around 20-miles between Rio Rico and Amado, Arizona. This portion of the river can be roughly divided into three reaches (stretches of river): Rio Rico, Tubac, and Amado (see map).
In 2005 there was a significant die-off of cottonwood and willow trees along an 8-mile stretch of the river near Rio Rico. This event surprised many and was the necessary catalyst for developing the Living River report. Our goal was to develop a tool that would help track river conditions, with the hope that such events could be avoided in the future.
How does the report work?
Numerous groups research and monitor conditions along the Upper Santa Cruz River. The Living River report builds on these efforts by annually tracking 10 indicators grouped in two main categories. The selected indicators represent important components of riparian and aquatic ecosystems (see below). Monitoring results are summarized for a given water year (October 1 – September 30) and evaluated against an appropriate standard set by federal and state regulatory agencies or the scientific community. Many of the standards are set by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
Many organizations conduct ecological monitoring along the Santa Cruz River providing the important data for the Living River report series. Read more about who contributes data to the Living River series.
Read the full report - A Living River: Charting the Health of the Upper Santa Cruz River
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|2008 Water Year||2009 Water Year||2010 Water Year|
Click an icon below to view a quick summary of the data from the 2008, 2009, and 2010 water years side-by-side