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Title: Hydrologic Requirements of and Evapotranspiration by Riparian Vegetation along the San Pedro River, Arizona 1862

item Scott, Russell - Russ

Submitted to: United States Geological Survey Fact Sheet
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2005
Publication Date: 1/15/2006
Citation: Leenhouts, J., Stromberg, J., Scott, R.L. Hydrologic Requirements of and Evapotranspiration by Riparian Vegetation along the San Pedro River, Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 2006-3027.

Interpretive Summary: For many of the human settlements in the Southwest, groundwater from regional aquifers has become the largest single source of fresh water for human communities. This reliance on groundwater has led to a large effort to further our understanding of the water balance of these large regional groundwater systems. Two critical component of this water balance are the amount of water used by the riparian system and the water conditions that are needed to support various assemblages of riparian plants. A multiyear, multidisciplinary research effort was made to provide information about these two components for a federally protected portion of the Upper San Pedro River. This “Fact Sheet” is intended to summarize the detailed results reported in a large USGS report and make this information available to a broader public audience.

Technical Abstract: This USGS Fact Sheet concisely summarizes analyses of riparian system hydrologic requirements and ground-water use detailed in Leenhouts, Stromberg, and Scott, 2005. (“Hydrologic requirements of and consumptive ground-water use by riparian vegetation along the San Pedro River, Arizona”). Residents of several local communities have responded to the need for water planning by forming the Upper San Pedro Partnership (USPP), a consortium of 21 agencies and organizations with a primary goal of ensuring long-term water needs are met, both for the area residents and for the San Pedro riparian vegetation and wildlife. As part of the overall planning strategy, the USPP assembled a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and initiated a study to characterize the water needs of the basin’s riparian system. The characterization of riparian water needs was accomplished by determining (1) annual water-use rates for riparian species and open-water evaporation, (2) the spatial distribution of riparian species and, (3) the relation between hydrologic factors, water use rates, and the distribution of riparian species. These characterizations not only helped define what current water needs are for the San Pedro’s riparian system, but also provided insight about how the ecological structure of the system and its water needs could change under different hydrologic conditions. The research was a collaborative effort by the U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service with assistance from the U.S. ARMY Corps of Engineers, the University of Wyoming, and the University of Arizona.